Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Anonymity

Most people seem to understand our need for medical history. Many acknowledge why we want to know our heritage. Others, however, just view those of us who search and/or try to explain why anonymous donations need to cease in all countries as being "ungrateful" or "inappreciative." While I have also encountered incredible support from a variety of people that I deeply appreciate, I also can't count the number of times that I - and many other donor-conceived people - have been called these inaccurate names.

From my perspective, donor conception exists due to the deep longings of adults to experience parenthood. Therefore, shouldn't the best interests and the well-being of the children - the entire reason this industry exists in the first place - be at the forefront of the anonymity debate? Why are our needs and rights frequently pushed away or minimized? Many of us are grown. Although parents in the past were unaware of the potential effects of anonymous donation on their children, we - the grown children - now have the ability to discuss our needs. We can expose mistakes from the past so that they are fixed for future generations. Like our parents who sought donor conception rather than adoption to form a biological connection, genetics/biology matter to many of us, too.

Some people believe that only a small group of donor-conceived people share my thoughts and feelings. Others claim that it's a higher percentage. Whether the minority, or the majority, of people produced through 'donated' (or, technically, sold) gametes feel similar to me, they deserve to have options available to them to seek answers for their own well-being. We are not looking for financial support. We are not trying to replace our parent(s). We are not ungrateful. We are simply wanting basic answers to who we are, where we belong, and what our biological parents/relatives are like that most of the population takes for granted.

Anonymity only exists because it appeals to some donors (who want to no connection to the children they produce) and some potential parents (who are concerned about third party involvement). It has absolutely nothing to do with the best interests of the resulting children. Many countries - including England, the Netherlands,Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, and the states of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia - already recognized this through the banning of anonymous donations. Other countries, however, are still prioritizing profit and interests of parents over the rights of the children.

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