Sperm and egg donors urged to reveal identity
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; twice commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigative journalism. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Wednesday 17 April 2013
Men and women who donated their sperm or egg cells anonymously should consider revealing their identity to their biological children, a study into the ethics of donor conception has recommended.
All children born as a result of donor conception after 2005, when the law on anonymity was changed, already have the right to know the name of their biological mother or father when they reach the age of 18.
And a panel of experts has concluded that donor-conceived children born prior to 2005 should also be allowed to know who their donor parents are.
A report by the independent Nuffield Council on Bioethics says that donors should be told that they can re-register their details with the Donor Conceived Register.
There should be no compunction on donors to come forward but it is in the spirit of more openness, with parents encouraged to tell their children if they were the result of donor conception, said Rhona Knight, who chaired the Nuffield inquiry.
“In recent years there has been a culture shift. Advice from professionals has gone from the extreme of never telling, to always telling,” Dr Knight said.
It is usually better for children to be told by their parents about their donor conception and if parents do decide to tell them then earlier is better.”
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