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Do Donor Babies Have a Right to Know Their Biological Parents?

Today, with modern medicine and new lifestyles, there is no guarantee that a child will be born into a genetically related family. But, how did we get to a place where it is OK to legally deny the child access to his genetic material?
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A meeting, more of a sighting, will take place between a sperm donor accompanied by his parents, and the offspring, the result of the donation to the lesbian couple. The man originally agreed not to be involved in the life of the child, but changed his mind.

The lawyer for the couple said that it was the right decision for this loving couple to have exclusive rights to the boy. No mention of the child. He seems to be an afterthought -- because he is.

This story is about the rights of adults who want children. There is no mention of the rights of the child. The United Nations declared that children have rights. But they appear to be of low priority.

When a woman in a relationship says to the father "yes, I will have your baby," and then changes her mind and has an abortion, well, too bad for the daddy. It's all about her rights.

If a man does not want a baby and the woman says, I do; too bad. He's going to be a father, pay child support and have a court tell him when he can access this child. A man has no rights. But the child has fewer.

I wonder what would have happened if a woman had changed her mind and wanted to play a role in the raising of a daughter that she had "donated" via her ovum to a homosexual couple.

The case did not make it to court. The two parties, that would be the sperm donor and the lesbian couple, came to an agreement pre-trial. He gave up rights to be the father and the women have been declared the child's parents. It seems that no one wants to be a test case. Well, no adult.

Today, with modern medicine and new lifestyles, there is no guarantee that a child will be born into a genetically related family. But, how did we get to a place where it is OK to legally deny the child access to his genetic material? To deny a child knowledge of the two gamete donors? How unfair to the child, to all the children who are created from gametes-known or anonymous.

This case was perfect for the courts. This dilemma demands that we define the rights of children. This "family" is an example of what happens when we lose sight of the fact that all human beings have intrinsic value. It is that ethical belief that is the root of our understanding of equality, dignity and human rights.

A man who donated sperm changed his mind and wants to be part of his son's life -- for the child is his son. Psychologists are now in agreement that fathers play an important role in raising offspring. Am I the only one not shocked? Evolution dictates that a male gamete and a female gamete are required to produce offspring. One can conclude from this scientific fact that the ideal situation for offspring is to live with and be raised by the genetic male and female gamete providers.

Jeffrey Rosenberg and W. Bradford Wilcox wrote in 2006: " [H]aving a positive male role model helps an adolescent boy develop positive gender-role characteristics; that adolescent girls are more likely to form positive opinions of men and are better able to relate to them when fathered by an involved father."

Ditta M. Oliker Ph.D. wrote about the importance of fathers in June 2011 in The Long Reach of Childhood:

"Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections...Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents."

Ronald Rohner, professor emeritus of family studies at the University of Connecticut, and co-author of a study into the importance of fathers wrote in the May 2012 journal, Personality and Social Psychology Review that the need for a father in a child's life is one of the most important factors in developing healthy children, emotionally. And "We're now finding that not only are fathers influential, sometimes they have more influence on kids' development than moms."

And what of extended family? When did having loving genetically related people around you ever become a negative? The paternal grandparents have no rights? This boy has been effectively cut off from his past. Think about that. Think of the programmes that focus on the search for one's roots. Why is this child different? Why would he not care about his roots when he gets older? How do you think he might feel knowing that he has been denied access to family because too many people were too cowardly to take this case to court?

We have managed to turn children into things, adornments, ornaments, appendages, with no right to be genetically related to parents, or the very least, the right to know genetic parents, or be loved by extended family. It might upset the sperm catcher. Or the sperm donor.

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