Published date: Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Anonymous Donation in Assisted Human Reproduction Robs Children of their Identity
The Children’s Rights Alliance is calling for the commencement of legislation to ban anonymous donations in assisted human reproduction (AHR) and to create a register of donor-conceived children. This follows calls by fertility groups to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD to postpone parts of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 and allow the practice of anonymous donation to continue.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said today: “Children have a right to know their identity. The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 is important because it seeks to protect children’s identity by banning the use of anonymous donations in assisted human reproduction. It also clarifies parentage for children who are conceived this way, establishing a legal relationship between them and their parents. We are calling for the urgent commencement of the relevant parts of the Act so the rights of all children conceived through AHR are protected and respected.
We know the pain that can be caused to a person who does not know their identity or where they came from. In Ireland, for example, there are countless heart-breaking stories of adoptions that were not recorded properly, causing immeasurable damage to people by not being able to access their past and their history. Alongside this legislation, it is vitally important that those seeking information as they grow up from the donor-conceived register are provided with necessary supports including counselling.
AHR can be an important and life-enhancing process for those wishing to have children when the correct medical and emotional support is provided. This does not take away from the fact that children born as a result of this process have a right to know their identity and their origins, in the same way as all other child in Ireland have.”