To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Assisted reproduction challenges and reinforces traditional understandings of family, kinship and identity. Sperm, egg and embryo donation and surrogacy raise questions about relatedness for parents, children and others involved in creating and raising a child. How socially, morally or psychologically significant is a genetic link between a donor-conceived child and their donor? What should children born through assisted reproduction be told about their origins? Does it matter if a parent is genetically unrelated to their child? How do experiences differ for men and women using collaborative reproduction in heterosexual or same-sex couples, single parent families or co-parenting arrangements? What impact does the wider cultural, socio-legal and regulatory context have? In this multidisciplinary book, an international team of academics and clinicians bring together new empirical research and social science, legal and bioethical perspectives to explore the key issue of relatedness in assisted reproduction.
In families in which parents conceived using donated sperm or donated eggs, only one parent will be the genetic parent of the child: the mother in the case of sperm donation and the father in the case of egg donation. Parents can choose to tell or not to tell their child about their donor conception. In families in which parents choose not to tell, children will grow up unaware that the person that they think of as their mother or father is not, in fact, their genetic parent. Furthermore, families in which children were conceived using an anonymous donor will likely never be able to know detailed or identifying information about their donor. In countries where donor anonymity has ended and donor-conceived adults are able to access information about their donor, it is still the case that if someone does not know they were donor conceived they will have no reason to access information about their donor. Therefore, is it in the child’s best interests to be told about their donor conception?
This chapter outlines empirical research and ethical reasoning to discuss whether disclosure of donor origins is in a child’s best interests. Our discussion considers deontological (duty-based) and consequentialist (outcome-based) ethics in relation to disclosure. We hold that the question of whether to disclose can best be answered by reviewing at least three types of considerations for each child: (1) medical welfare; (2) family welfare; and (3) rights. These considerations build on the established empirical evidence presented in the first half of this chapter. Our intention is to clarify reasons why telling or not telling may be the best decision.
The long-standing ethical and policy debate about whether gamete donors should remain anonymous or be identifiable has been conducted with very limited empirical evidence about the implications of open-identity donation for those involved. While there is a growing consensus that the use of identifiable donors is preferable to the secrecy that has traditionally surrounded gamete donation, there is uncertainty around the consequences of policy decisions to remove donor anonymity, particularly regarding potential outcomes should donor offspring wish to meet their donor or other families created using their donor’s gametes. Open-identity donation is now available and is sometimes mandatory in several countries around the world, although it will be some years before the social effects of this regulatory change are realized. In the UK, for example, the entitlement of individuals conceived using donated gametes from 1 April 2005 onwards to receive identifying information about their donor at age 18 will not come into effect until 2023.
There are various types of identifiable donors. Clinics may use ‘identity-release’ donors whose identifying information is accessible once the child conceived with their gametes reaches a specified age; information may or may not be available to parents before this time. Alternatively, in instances where children have been conceived using anonymously donated gametes, the donor may choose to revoke their anonymity and make their identity known at a later stage. Lastly, the donor’s identity may be known from the time of the child’s conception, as is the case when prospective parents ask friends or relatives to donate their gametes, a practice that appears to be on the increase since the removal of donor anonymity. This chapter is primarily concerned with the first two types of open-identity donation, that is identity-release donation and formerly anonymous donation, and will focus on donations that occur within the context of the clinic (for a discussion of intra-familial donation, see Vayena and Golombok, Chapter 10).
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.