Group Statement

1 No-one has the right to a child. To claim the right to a child is to treat that child, another human being, as an end to satisfying one’s own desires, as an object and not as a person. To claim the right to a child is to claim jurisdiction over another human being’s life when they have no say in the matter, when they have not given their consent, informed or otherwise. The fact that DC children cannot give consent because they are not yet alive is not an argument for putting their interests to one side; rather it is a powerful argument for ceasing the practice of DC altogether, or at the very least for being extremely careful about and limited in the ways we practice it.

2 The interests and welfare of potential and actual children born as a result of the use of DC must be the over-riding consideration in all decisions concerning the use of such technologies and in the subsequent lives of the children so created. The interests of such children must override those of gamete donors and of social and genetic parents.

3 Social and psychological research overwhelmingly supports the proposition that it is in the best interests of every child to know and to be raised by his or her genetic parents. The child should only be removed in extreme circumstances as a last resort for their safety. The desire to provide children for infertile couples does not override the child’s need for and right to this vital relationship with his or her genetic parents.

4 All children born as a result of the use of donated gametes have a right to information about their genetic parents; moreover
(i) this right is retrospective and applies to all children irrespective of the date of their conception;
(ii) the compiling and maintenance of complete and on-going records about gamete donors should be mandatory; and
(iii) the destruction of or acquiescence in the destruction of or the encouragement or promotion of the destruction of information about DC children’s genetic parents should be a considered a crime. Retrospectivity is opposed by those who claim that the people who provided their gametes did so on the understanding that they would remain anonymous and we cannot break this actual or implied contract. However, in this clash between two sets of rights – the rights of the gamete provider and the rights of the child – the rights of the child must prevail over those of the provider. The child cannot have his or her rights limited by an implied contract to which they were not a party.

5 To be eligible for DC procedures, all person’s involved must agree to inform any children thus produced about the DC circumstances of their birth at the earliest opportunity and to answer truthfully any questions the child may have about their conception and birth in terms appropriate to that child’s age and level of maturity. Furthermore, all donors must be advised that donating their DNA via gametes is tantamount to giving away one of their own children, and, if they demand anonymity, they are effectively abandoning that child. Donors must be informed they have obligations to any children they have thus created.

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