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Is anyone listening to the Adult Donor Conceived Community?

15 Aug

Family Scholar posted about this article from the Australian post “The Age” here and highlights the pertinent points in the article, and then has a selection of the comments which highlight the reality well.  I went and read the full article in “The Age” and then found the referenced article posted a couple of weeks earlier, and thought both were well worth posting about. 

It is worth noting that once again Australia is far ahead of the US or Canada in recognising this is an issue and working towards solutions and that Australia has been working on it for quite a while.  They are not fully there yet, but have no doubt they will get there a hell of a lot faster than over here.

The full article in “The Age” is Our Selfish Creation of Human Life

This article pulls no punches and I have to say I agree whole-heartedly with their points. No one thinks about the end product (the child) and how they will feel about how they were created, and what was taken from them to fulfill the desires of others.

People only think about their desires and their wants and now that there are Donor Conceived Adults speaking out all over the world NO ONE has any excuse for not listening.  When donor conception first started Adult Adoptees had already started to speak out against closed records and the more aware Social Workers like Baran and Panner were speaking out too.  But yet no one in the donor conception industry listened, or if they did they dismissed it as “different” because our mothers surrendered us and these children would think differently than those adoptees who were obviously mal-adjusted

Yet 30 years later there still is no one looking out for the best interests of the donor conceived child, they are only concerned with people wishing to be parents who are willing to pay the people who can make their dreams come true.  It is beyond selfish to only think about yourself in this matter. 

If people who want to be parents either by donation or adoption really truly cared about the rights of their children they would be actively working towards changing the laws that deny both groups the right to know who they came from. To me it is very telling when such a large portion of either group of parents deny the major life-long impact it has on the individual who has no history, much less fight for those rights. If you cannot even be bothered to fight for the rights of your kids, then what can you be bothered to do?

Excerpts from the article below but suggest you go read the entire article because it is so good, refreshingly honest, and not sugar-coated like articles of this nature in the US press.  Australian media doesn’t care too much about stepping on toes like the US media does.

The rights of donor-conceived children are ignored in the misplaced euphoria over reproductive technology.

Recent talk about the rights of gay and infertile couples, and some single women, to ”donor” conception and adoption emphasises adult entitlements at the expense of infants. There are some things that anyone who believes they have a right to a child needs to hear.

Someone else’s child is not a ”cure” for infertility, and no one, whether gay, straight, single, married, young or old, should be entitled to such a child – despite current thinking to the contrary – especially when that child’s own human rights are ignored. The only circumstance in which this ought to happen is when the child has continuing contact with their donor parent.

There are now more than enough examples worldwide of donor-conceived persons, whose rights were never considered, being very angry indeed at such cavalier and inhumane treatment, especially when they are unable to trace their fathers or mothers.

***

To force any human being to forfeit their own reality without their knowledge or consent in order that someone else can live out their dream of parenthood is highly questionable. This is real identity theft. And if these donor-conceived persons who have been told the truth do want to meet with their own fathers or mothers, as is perfectly natural and understandable, they are told they are ungrateful and that, for those conceived before 1988, it is not possible. This is inhuman.

I think the above article is a follow-up for this article Secrets of the Father Become the Mysteries of the Child.  Again the full article is worth reading and I hope the US and Canada come to their senses sooner rather than later and that people stop and think before they make a choice “their” child will have to live with their entire life.

Ms Grech, now 28, became even more determined to find her donor a few months ago, when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and needed to learn more about her genetic and medical history. But despite multiple attempts get information through the doctor who helped her parents conceive her, she’s had no luck.

***

The question of whether donor-conceived children should have the right to access their donor’s information (or vice versa) has always been a vexed issue; a balancing act between the right to privacy versus the right to know.

State Parliament has now re-opened the debate, as part of a broad-ranging inquiry by the law reform committee. The committee chairman, Liberal MP Clem Newton-Brown, said the inquiry would consider the legal and practical issues that arose if all donor-conceived Victorians were given access to information about their donors, and their donor-conceived siblings.

At present, the law varies depending on when the donation was made, resulting in a ”three tiered” system. Victorians conceived using sperm donated after January 1, 1998, have unconditional access to information about their donors. Those conceived using sperm donated between July 1, 1988, and December 31, 1997, can access information about their donors if their donor consents. But those conceived before 1988 don’t have the right to access, because donors have been granted anonymity.

Why is it okay to keep doing this?  When will society learn from the past and stop making the same mistakes over and over again.  It really has to stop.  Be part of the solution not the continuation of the problem.  Stand up and make a difference – you will be glad you did.

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5 Comments

Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Ethics

 

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5 responses to “Is anyone listening to the Adult Donor Conceived Community?

  1. Dannie

    August 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    This arena I don’t know too much about…..I briefly thought about….but decided it wasn’t for me. Are there any places/clinics/sperm banks etc. that have identifying information and medical history attached? or are they all anonymous?

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  2. The adopted ones

    August 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Dannie, Yes there are places where you can chose identity known donors. But you see that scares people…those prefer never to have any competition. The UK banned anonymous donation. Australia did as well but did not make it retroactive from what I can gather.

    But the crux of the problem is unlike adoption there is no court records – only clinic records with no mandate for maintaining the files indefinitely. A clinic closes the files get stored for a while and then shredded or whatever the minimum requirements for patient records is…or they have one of those convienent floods or fires that seemed to plague the adoption industry during my era. Science is so many decades ahead of legislation efforts that to even create legislation it is outdated before it gets on the books.

    And donor conceived do not have an amended birth certificate – their original birth certificate lists the non-biological parent or parents so there is no place to turn to for the truth.

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  3. Raven

    August 17, 2011 at 1:33 am

    How many times have we read on public forums that people have the absolute right to create their families in any way they see fit? We’re living in a narcissistic society that has the collective intellectual capacity of a snail…no offense to snails.

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    • The adopted ones

      August 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Raven – it certainly has become a “all about me and my wants” society. I don’t know why but I do know it pisses me off that people cannot see what is as clear as the nose on their face.

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  4. Dannie

    August 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    “And donor conceived do not have an amended birth certificate – their original birth certificate lists the non-biological parent or parents so there is no place to turn to for the truth”

    is this for married couples that elected to use donor sperm and such? that totally didn’t even enter into my mind….I was solely thinking of the choice mom community with donor sperm so the mom is the mom but then you had the donor angle…which I’ve heard some arguments about both ways….completely forgot about couples.

    The problem *in my opinion* is that in some cases, sperm donations are made (or at least when I was in college) for fast money in order to take a girl out on a date just like donating blood or plasma….so of course college kids aren’t thinking of the ramifications if they can impress their date with a higher scale restaurant for their one year together anniversary dinner. As long as there is recruitment from college age students (who I can attest have no brain at the time….I donated plasma a few times for extra cash for my shenanigans) without any laws or whatnot, that’s a main problem.

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