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Anonymous vs Known Donors


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#1 Rick

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:29 PM

Hi Sherry, I want to ask you a question.

I know you mentioned the law not seeing an embryo as a "child" but does the BC court case change the playing field at all? I believe it ruled that an adult would have the right to know what sperm donor conceived them, and the intent was to act similar to adoption rules. For those clinics that handle donation, are there different policies regarding anonymous versus known donors, especially in light of the recent court case?

#2 Laura1976

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:25 AM

Thanks for asking this question Rick! I was going to ask it when I got around to it. I hope you don't mind if my piggybacking onto it.


From what I understood the court ruling also encompasses embryos. Could you please clarify? What are the implications and/or obligations, if any for the donors?
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#3 SherryLevitan

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:02 AM

I think a bit of background about the Pratten case will help. The decision was released in May, 2011 and includes a 15 month stay which means that except for the injunction preventing the destruction of records, the decision will have no impact for another 8 months. In addition, the BC Government is appealing the decision. What this means is that no clinic would treat the decision as binding until both the 15 month period has passed and the Appeal has been decided. The court held that donor offspring are treated differently from adoptees under provincial law, and that amounts to discrimination under the Charter. Eventually, the case may help donor offspring gain access to medical records and information but I don't think that it will affect how we view embryos. The basic issue with respect to embryos is deciding which rules are applied to them. If they were children, we would adopt them. If they are property, we can donate them. To date, there have been no cases in Canada that consider the nature of an embryo and even the American cases skirt the issue.