What makes a Father?

Since last weekend here in Canada, the news media have drawn our attention to the case of a young woman, conceived with an anonymous sperm donation, who is challenging the law precluding her from learning her genetic father’s identity.  It is of course a very complex issue to examine with rights and interests on both sides of the argument.

Consider, however, this excerpt from a commentary by two family law professors that was published in today’s Globe and Mail:

We recognize the interest that donor children have in knowing their genetic origins. But is it a right that trumps all others?

The rhetoric of genetic connection risks erasing social bonds between parents and children. It implies that identity results from genetics. And the idea that genetic origin makes people who they are devalues diverse means by which people form families. Consider adoptive parents or parents who conceive through assisted conception. They may be gay or straight. Such parents are not mere caretakers of someone else’s genetic heritage. They contribute to their child’s identity.

What do you think?

  • Parentage is about more than DNA (theglobeandmail.com)
  • Abolishing anonymous sperm donation could scare off men, fertility experts warn (theglobeandmail.com)
  • Anonymous sperm donation needed: fertility experts (ctv.ca)
  • Woman asks courts to grant parent’s identity to children of sperm, egg donors (thestar.com)
  • Province sued to open sperm-donor records (theglobeandmail.com)
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