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March 04, 2012


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Mark Diebel

News from Australia about a right for donor conceived persons to know their genetic parentage today...

Concerning health...http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-28/health-concerns-spark-call-for-sperm-donor/3918868

Statement from the government


Press report on Tangledwebs


Eric Bard

Good idea Mark

Mark Diebel

@ Fr. Shank,

Record keeping is a problem for both adoptees and donor conceived. One reason for this is the multi-generational mixed feeling that personal information about adoption (or donor conception) does not need to be preserved or disclosed.

Mark Diebel

A longer comment got lost somewhere in cyberspace, hence the odd start to the short correction on the bottom note.

This resolution addresses the practice of donor conception in the United States which is lenient with respect to how names of genetic parent(s) are preserved and communicated to the donor conceived. Common estimates give between 30 and 60 thousand children per year are born using donor conception practice. No statistics are, however, kept so it is impossible to know how many of these persons will likely know their genetic roots or not. The aim of the resolution is to help effect a change in policy and practice so that it becomes more like common sense that descendants are seen to have both genetic and (so to speak) cultural parents. The resolution does not address the rightness or wrongness of donor conception practice itself.

Surrogacy parenting is also a practical question with respect to the disclosures to children born from gestational surrogates. As much as commissioning parents want to see themselves as the sole parent of a child, gestational surrogacy provides a child with another "parent". This person is to be included in the notion of "entire parentage."

The preservation and disclosure of this information as a matter of right to the descendant has been hotly contested and remains so with respect to adoptions. The practice of open adoptions provides some children with the possibility (and sometimes reality) of relationships with the natal family. Open adoption practice is relatively small. In New York, access to the original birth certificate is still prohibited (except for a showing of good cause). "Good cause" is a term without standard interpretation so it's application varies widely.

The fundamental point is that practice needs to think of this sort of information as a human right, a basic to the human being. Negotiating this sort of information away is not necessary nor right.

Father Mike Waverly-Shank

Just one question - how long are these records kept? A relative tried to track down the birth mother of an adopted child - tried to do it through the lawyer who had handled the adoption - He was retired and had shredded his paper work. Would this be an ongoing problem??

Mark Diebel

I should also correct the word "sponsored by The Rev'd Mark Diebel"...the resolution is actually sponsored or being sent to the Convention by the Commission on Social Justice and Public Policy.

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