Informing offspring of their conception by gamete or embryo donation: an Ethics committee opinion

This document discusses the ethical implications re- garding informing offspring of their conception using gamete or embryo donation.

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Volume 109, Issue 4, Pages 601–605

Authors:

Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Abstract:

This document discusses the ethical implications of informing offspring about their conception using gamete or embryo donation. It replaces the 2013 ASRM Ethics Committee document of the same name (Fertil Steril 2013;100:45-9).


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Go to the profile of Fertility and Sterility

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

2 Comments

Go to the profile of Bethany Kennedy
Bethany Kennedy 5 months ago

I am a donor-conceived adult.   I am saddened that non-disclosure is still, in this day and age, being touted as a valid parenting choice.   I count myself lucky in that I have always known I was donor-conceived.  Some of my family and friends, however, were not so lucky.  Many of them have found out through accident by taking affordable, and readily available,  personal commercial DNA tests, and, for some of them, it was like a bomb went off in their life, destroying their trust in their family and/or their sense of self.  Others, were never told of their donor-conceived status, and the lack of accurate medical history has had a negative impact on their health.   I wholeheartedly believe that honesty and openness from the start is in the best interests of the child.  I understand that donor conception is fraught with ethical dilemmas, but I cannot endorse lying, by omission or otherwise, about a person's identity in the donor conception context.  Yes, parents have a lot of leeway when it comes to how they parent their children, but, it is not absolute.  For example, deciding whether to feed a child only organic food is a valid parenting decision.  Choosing to starve a child as a form of punishment is not a decision that should be left up to a parent, even though it too is related to a decision about what to feed a child.  I put non-disclosure in the second category.  Disclosure or non-disclosure should not be a choice that is left up to parents.   We donor conceived babies turn into children and then adults.  We deserve to know the truth about our origins even if our parents prefer we be kept in the dark.  

Go to the profile of Stephanie Talley
Stephanie Talley 5 months ago

With all due respect, to assume intended parent(s) of a donor conceived child HAVE THE ABILITY to keep their child's genetic origin a secret is foolish.

As long as the blood types all match correctly, no one needs any major DNA-related medical procedures throughout their life, no one in the family gets a hereditary disease that requires familial testing, no one gets interested in general in getting DNA testing for hereditary disease such as BRCA testing, never have children, (many expecting mothers approach genetic/hereditary testing in pregnancy now) none of them OR their children or descendants ever does a commercial genealogical DNA test such as Ancestry, 23andMe, FTDNA, or MyHeritage ever in the future, no one in your extended family is an unknown adopted-out person who might contact them looking for someone to DNA test, your children do not have any inherited genetic dominant traits in which you & your partner are both recessive which they may learn about in basic biology in middle/high school, and they don't take any interest in biology, medical science, or history/genealogy...you might be able to keep the secret. 

In the time of DNA, when "everyone is doing it," the information given here is grossly outdated. You can't only "recommend" children be told and still consider not telling to be a viable option, in a time where a vast number of DC adults are finding out independent of their parents.