I watch the Today Show a lot in the morning during breakfast time. There’s always something interesting on that catches my eye (err… Ears!). For the last couple weeks the show has been doing a continuous special on the issue of Infertility called “Re-thinking Infertility“. While Infertility has so many tangents i could go off on, this specific episode caught my attention, as i truly personally connected with it!
In the short segment on Friday, Matt interview a couple of people on this subject. One lady was an advocated for keeping sperm donner’s identity private & the other was a young women (born in the 80’s) conceived thru a sperm donation. I was very interested in what they had to say having been up on this subject for many years, even tho mostly from being a part of NightLight Adoption and working with them. (As they have a great program for adoption of frozen embryos –Snowflake Adoption). But also being adopted myself, and not knowing hardly anything about my birth father.
So, the issue for the day was, should the children (“products” of the sperm/egg donation) be able to find out who their donner is and be able to contact them to some extent?
They discussed what the rights should be for sperm or egg donner. The advocated, for keeping the donner’s identity anonymous, felt that there wouldn’t be as many donations if this were not the case. If the donner might be contacted in his or her future offspring, it might scare people away from donating. The opposing view was from, as I said, a young girl, who wanted to know her father’s identity for health background and also just for sake of curiosity.
Matt, the host, suggested to donation banks, one for those who are open to being known, and the second for those who want to remain anonymous. But this doesn’t really help the situation. What child doesn’t want to know who gave them half of their genes? I’m sure there are some out there, but how would you know? How would you know if the child you plan to bring into this world will want to know information about their biological parent or not? I don’t think that solves any problem.
Secondly, i fully believe that a child has the right to know his or her biological heritage. While the donner may opt to meet this child or not, they should be entitled to information. If you can share your sperm or egg, can’t you give up family/medical history as well?? It’s not like in this day in age it’s a “bad” thing to donate either. What are the fears that are attached to this donation in the first place? It’s not like going around getting women pregnant out of wedlock. So what are they scared of? And if they have fears about what will happen in the future, then maybe they should re-think if that $100 is really worth in the present as the “problems” that may arise in the future.
This really got me reved up. I fully think any child should have the right to know his biological heritage for medical reasons as well as curiosity.
But again… this is just my opinion, for my circumstances. =)