Monday, March 23, 2009

The Problem with Retrospective Access

The issue of retrospective access to identifying information was discussed in the South Australian parliament recently. It was recognised at the parliamentary level that the donation of gametes was a good thing underlined by altruism. Yet these same politicians expressed concerns about what damage a donor conceived offspring's presence or knowledge of would cause the donor's (vendor's) existing family.

It made me wonder then why would you be worried about something showing up in your life if it was such a great gift that was composed completely of altruistic actions and beliefs. If the donor/vendor and or his family do not want the "return" of this marvelous gift then it can be interpreted that any number of these people view the act with either shame or with a negative slant.

The story propagated by the clinics and the media is that the donors (vendors) provide their gametes to an infertile couple to bring them great joy and to relieve their heartache. Surely it would give the donating progenitor the "warm fuzzies" to know that their unwanted child had grown up in a loving home because they were so dearly wanted by someone else. Yet the consensus within parliament is that this could adversely impact on this person and or their family.

So in the same breath parliament has stated that gamete donation is an altruistic gift that also has something intrinsically wrong with it.

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