Adoption Rights Alliance concerned about identity rights
in Children and Family Relationships Bill
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Assisted Human Reproduction
People conceived by
anonymous egg and sperm donation and those adopted as embryos face the same
identity issues as adopted people. Adoption
Rights Alliance asserts that by not sufficiently legislating for the
rights of those conceived by Assisted Human Reproduction, the Irish
State is allowing history to repeat itself.
This is another area where the risk of unwitting incest is
unacceptable, particularly as Ireland is such a small country.
of the Commission on Assisted Human
some of the issues affecting adopted people denied information on their
origins, including references to "identity bewilderment".
The Department of Health and Children, who ignored all Information and
Tracing issues in the Adoption Bill 2010, are also the sponsoring body
behind this Commission, which seemed well aware of the issues on
adoption. Inexplicably, various church groups who argued against
AHR to the Commission, actually argued that the loss of identity made
AHR repugnant to their members, whilst simultaneously arguing that such
loss was acceptable even preferable in the case of adoptions.
Examiner article about egg donations demonstrates the urgent need
for greater regulation in the area of assisted human reproduction.
This article makes it clear that there appears to be no
obligation for parents to tell their children about their origins.
couples who intend to tell
their child how they were conceived, O’Mahony advises to give
information ‘in bite-sized pieces over time.’”
Disturbingly there is
no requirement for the egg donation service to ensure that they maintain
adequate records for the children (and future adults) who have been
conceived through this system. It
also appears that there is no provision for the preservation of records,
particularly in the context of the egg donation company closing down in
the future. As if to seal
the fate of those conceived via donor conception, “Sims”,
the company in question
includes a section “For Recipients”, another “For Donors”, yet
no section “For those conceived”.
to the Sims website “..[t]he
process of egg donation at Sims Clinic is anonymous (unless
otherwise arranged by mutual consent of both the donor and
recipient) and should you choose to find out more about it or
proceed with helping a childless couple achieve their dream to become
parents your details will not be revealed to the recipient couple.”
Ireland is trailing
behind the UK in this regard, where anonymous donations were banned in
2005. Rather than decreasing
the level of donors, the amount of donations actually increased
after the anonymity ban.
Whether or not egg,
sperm or embryo donation is anonymous should not be a matter for company
policy, rather this issue should be decided and enforced by the State.
History is currently repeating itself and ignorance will be no
excuse when donor conceived adults come looking for answers in the