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The IVF Fertility Blog

Donor Parents and Offspring: Rights & Assisted Reproduction

In recent Forbes article, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Todd Essig examines the controversial topic of donor rights, examining a new law to take effect in Washington State this month that will require sperm and egg donors to provide fertility clinics with "identifying information and medical history" (source: BioNews).

Our resident clinical psychologist Dr. Allison Rosen makes some interesting points alongside Essig concerning the state laws failure to consider the other important parties involved in the assisted reproduction and donor process: the parents of donor conceived children.  As the two mental health experts notably point out, there are suggested guidelines provided by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) that strongly encourage "pretreatment counseling sessions to help individuals make informed decisions about when and how to discuss donor origins with their child/ren."  Rosen continues to illustrate the need to further protect the parents of donor offspring, "Parents want to do what they believe is in the best interest of their child.  Donors' needs and the needs of their children must also be protected" (source: Rosen via Forbes).

Laws pertaining to donor anonymity currently vary from state to state, as the fertility environment in the United States remains mostly self-regulated.  The notion that governing bodies may start to enact laws that suggest egg and sperm donors may be compared or considered biological parents like those who put children up for adoption clearly blurs the line between law and what Essig and Rosen understand to be an intimate family decision.  For now, it seems leaving the choice of donor disclosure up to the raising parents is more favorable than allowing local governments to force such a choice upon parents who already struggle with some difficult decisions concerning their donor children and their own reproductive health rights.

You can read the full story here.

Topics: Egg Donation, Egg Donor, Law, Technology

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