Henaghan, Caroline (2004) The genealogical jigsaw puzzle - a missing piece? the right to know for A.I.D. children. Unspecified thesis, Durham University.
This paper examines current UK legal regulation relating to the provision of genetic background information to children born by donor insemination (Dl) and argues in favour of changes to the existing law - the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. The proposals for reform suggested in this paper would allow for Regulations to sanction the disclosure of both non-identifying and identifying information to Dl children. These Regulations and the form they might take have been the subject of a recent government Consultation Paper, the response to which has been a majority in favour of the enactment of Regulations to allow disclosure of both types of information to donor offspring. This paper proposes that donor offspring should be granted the right to be told of their status and the right to receive information about their genetic background, whilst they are still children. This paper analyses the issues raised in the Consultation Paper and the arguments for and against the enactment of Regulations. Existing sociological and psychological research demonstrates the importance of genetic heritage information for the development of a child's identity. The provision of genealogical information can also be justified by reference to the child's right to an identity under international human rights law. However, the concepts of secrecy and anonymity have thus far influenced this area of law allowing for the protection of the rights of the social parents of Dl children and the donors respectively. Therefore, this paper advocates that the concept of openness should feature heavily in any future legislative measures. Based on evidence from other jurisdictions, this paper argues for the enactment of Regulations in the near future to allow for the protection of the rights of the Dl child, which have until now been unjustifiably overlooked by the UK legislature.
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|09 Sep 2011 10:00