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Hum Reprod. 1998 Nov;13(11):3268-73.

The management of genetic origins: secrecy and openness in donor assisted conception in Israel and elsewhere.

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1
Paul Baerwald School of Social Work, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Abstract

Donor assisted conception provides new opportunities for achieving parenthood but at the same time raises issues of secrecy, anonymity, and the management of the offspring's genetic origins. As with adoption, the child's right to a genetic identity is at stake. The first part of this paper examines bio-psychosocial evidence indicating that maintaining secrecy and anonymity regarding genetic parents may be detrimental to the well-being of the donor offspring, the donor, and the nurturing, social parents. The second part discusses different approaches to the disclosure of genetic origins. The third part presents the case of Israel, as reflected mainly in the Report of the Israeli Ministry of Justice (1994). The paper shows that the Committee, yielding to the medical profession in the country, preferred the interests of the adults involved in donor assisted conception to those of the offspring and made no sincere attempts to protect the child's basic right to genetic identity. In doing so, it turned its back on the well established policy of openness in the field of adoption and on the emerging trend to similar openness in donor assisted conception in other countries.

PMID:
9853893
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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