How best to protect the vital interests of donor-conceived individuals: prohibiting or mandating anonymity in gamete donations?

Inmaculada de Melo-Martín
Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online 2016, 3: 100-108
Anonymous gamete donation continues to be practised in most jurisdictions around the world, but this practice has come under increased scrutiny. Thus, several countries now mandate that donors be identifiable to their genetic offspring. Critics contend that anonymous gamete donation harms the interests of donor-conceived individuals and that protection of these interests calls for legal prohibition of anonymous donations. Among the vital interests that critics claim are thwarted by anonymous donation are an interest in having a strong family relationship, health interests, and an interest in forming a healthy identity. This article discusses each of these interests and examines what they could involve. The legislation in two countries is considered: Spain, which mandates anonymous gamete donation, and the UK, which prohibits such practice, to assess how these different legislations might or might not protect these vital interests.


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