August 24, 2007

More on birth certificates in the UK

Natasha Pearlman, "I feel so betrayed because I don't know who my father is" (Daily Mail, August 2, 2007) - An excellent article about Tom Ellis and how he has reacted to finding out about his real origin. And to think that there is opposition in Britain to placing the "donor-conceived" stamp on children's birth certificates:

"Bizarre", responded outspoken MP Evan Harris. "There is no proper evidence that children or adults suffer from not knowing who their 'real fathers' are, whether from IVF or from infidelity," he said. He was backed up by the chief ethicist for the British Medical Association, Dr Vivienne Nathanson. The committee's view of parenthood is decades out of date, she wrote. Parents ought to be honest with their children, but they should be coaxed into doing so, not forced. Placing "donor conceived" on birth certificates is "a highly genetic-determinist view of life".

No proper evidence, really? Does Tom Ellis and others like him need to scream harder? Something tells me that no hearing aid could ever help these people: they just don't WANT to get it.

Indeed, Vivienne Nathanson's whole argument (read it here
) is disturbing. She argues not only that there is no evidence that children are harmed, and that the whole arugment of harm is "illusory" but that the real harm here is to the parents, who would be forced to tell - and so their parenting is being undermined. No longer can parents choose the timing of telling their child - now they must tell whenever their child sees their birth certificate (if not sooner).

And then, of course, the terrible threat - if UK legislation mandates disclosure, then parents will go abroad and have their children elsewhere! Our country will be populated by aliens! To which I say, too bad, too bad.

And too bad for the parents who can no longer choose to lie forever. Nathanson's argument about timing would have more force if it didn't run smack against the statistic that up to 90% of parents choose NEVER to tell their children that they are donor-conceived. It's not about WHEN here, it's about telling AT ALL. That's really the right that Parliament wants to protect. Children have a right to know, and their parents often have too many "good" reasons never to tell them.

Nathanson is right that the parents' freedom of parenting is being clipped here. But where adult freedoms run up against the rights of children, Western law has long stood solidly on the side of the weaker party - the best interests of the children take precedence, thank you very much. Parents have a few years to figure out how and when to tell, while the child doesn't even yet know what a birth certificate is, can't read it or hasn't asked to see it. You'd think that would be enough time for the parents to get their act together. By the time a child knows what a birth certificate is, you'd think the child would also have the right to know who its biological parents are.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think that the fertliy industry is behund any pro-donor comments. Everybody I discuss this with is against donor-conception instintively. I all who are speaking out as the young adults that they now are, twenty odd years after this ludicrous donor craze caught on. A sensitively worked adoption of a poverty stricken urchin should be fine cure for this so-called illness.

Donation of egg and sperm Human trafficking, anyway, and sometimes man's inhumnaity to man makes me wonder what good civlisation is when it is poepled those who want one rule dor some and one rule for others.

Seveteen out of twenty adoptees went to trace thier roots when birth records were first opened, which goes to show how much money is as stake.

Nine months pregnany for the gift of a blighted life is selfish. And I say that with no apology whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

There is empirical evidence all around that donor-conceived children suffer.

DonorMisconception are the donor-conceived own web-site. Voila evidence!! Whosedaughter? is web site that is more evidence.

If seveteen out of twenty adoptees went to trace thier roots then that re-inforces the truth.

If you knew what I know about the desperation of trying to be up-to-date that constitutes ploiticians' attitudes you may even laugh as they, like British Medical Association members, wanly nod to a political correctness ideal that every one else sees as a social relic that was never (circa 1970)in true fashion for long.

A GENETIC DETERMINIST VEIW? Well, yes. That's DonorMisconception's point. Well spotted Dr. Nathanson.
What took you so long? You did spot it - didn't you?

Anonymous said...


THE DONOR CONCEPTION NETWORK have the cold nerve to advise a reversal of the especially chosen child story that is told to make adoptees feel less rejected (by thier very often simply very hard up biological single mothers) and pretend the donor was especially chosen.

What must be in thier minds? An authority? Certainly the desire to brainwash. Are thier members fit to be parents?

Poor people don't grumble if a baby doesn't come, they are often releived.

But then given that donorship is mostly in the province of private medicine, what would these fake and luxe-loving non-parents know or care? They just want to buy the experience of pregnancy (nine months for them but a life sentence for the children involved)
to disguise a lack of virilty. And this hang-up on that lack has its roots in the 1970's when social displays of male sexuality display were mandatory. These displays were a reaction against both the gentler 1960's and the women's movement which started at about that time too.

It cannot br emphasised highly enough what swift and inadequately researched social changes there have been in the past fifty years.

This is a chance to let as many people know about these recipients of the egg and sperm of a sranger, these fake parents, and it is important to share the truth about these fake parents here with anyone who is too young to have lived thru the past five decades.

I am weeping a bit as I type, and my adoptee friends (who also weep) and I will press on with full support for the next generation who deserve the last word in any debate about this, because they will oulive the adults involved but suffer just as much but for reasons of thier own.


Anonymous said...

I temember hearing an item on the radio news saying tight pants contribute to infertlity. I even think pharmaceutical companies may seen a niche market then in 1969.

Does anyone want investigate them with me? who is making money out of donorship? i an london based.

Unknown said...

Same deal with adoption.

Anonymous said...

Yes, adoption agencies are menaces.

Please see Fassit who are monitoring child-abduction in Britain, and who are breaking a bit of ground as at the moment against our central government who are offering cash incentives to local governments (what we call individual local areas) to take children from thier parents and/or plan to prior to birth. Prior!

I know overseas is worse because Britain is less commercially driven and seen as the better for it, but it isn''t alot better for donorship or adoption either.

Yes seame deal for adoption

Anonymous said...

Hope no one minds if the parliament email for Britain's donor-conceiveds' open records here.

Our parliament resumes on October 8th and any support to influence policy makers will help.

Lord Winston, who sent donorship mainstream, is on the panel and probably still insisting that nature vs. nuture is a conundrum that no longer matters, while he promotes what he called "blended families" Duh?

Ruth Deech was chair of the Human Emrbyolgy Fertlity Authority, an organisation that is supposed to protect the needs of the children, and she was very politically correct and keen for the ensuing modernisation of donorship. Lady Deech is actually quite an interesting woman who, the likelihood is, will listen to any sides in disputes. I have seen her talk and she is very a practical type.

Others on the panel, I don't know at all, but politicians hve thier own web sites, if you are curious.

I predict an email-fest. (Ha Ha.)

Anonymous said...

AUTOMOTION are the overall/holding/umbrella (whatever the terminolgy is in your country)
company of the fertility industry. Thier site actually shows a band of pleasant-faced directors. They do not sell shares to the public.

They are America based with a British office. What the donor-conceived community want to do about them I don't know, but, I think you should speak out and tell them what donor-conception feels like close-up. Or something.

Anonymous said...

Good, thought-provoking posts here...
I can relate, just having created a big s**tstorm w/my best friend, who conceived twins through donor eggs/IVF. [I told my mom; my friend wanted it to remain a deep dark secret.] I think if she's ashamed of her actions, she shouldn't have gone through w/this. Things will probably never be the same between us now.

Anonymous said...

If you decide to use either donor sperm or donar egg be aware that you also need to be honest with your child/children. That is your reponsibiity as a parent. If you cannot do this then do not do this process. You are not ready.

It is not your decision - children will suffer in the long run - stay around and observe if you do not believe this. Be proud that you made this decision - not hide it to try and conceal the true facts -donor conceived.

I work in the health industry and have counselled many individuals not told of their adoption or mode of conception etc. It is not easy but has to be done. As well, it is a moral and legal question and ony one that can answered by those parties involved in this process. That is why counselling is so important. Children do have rights and not telling them the truth is not protecting them but says something about the parents - fear of the truth.

Donor conception is what it is so why hide these facts! If you make a decision to undertake this process be game enough to own up to it. Your children will also respect you more in years to come and as well appreciate your problem and how their existence came about. They will feel valued and mayb econfused but this is better than hiding it as if it is a shameful act. It is a choice you made. Others will also feel much more comfortable with this whole modern process of cnception.

I am speaking from experience not just writing for the fun of it or to say my piece. Birth certificates are valuable for many reasons and part of the law of the land - correct imformation is critically important not what one may want to add or hide to save themselves for revealing the facts. Anomynous for reasons.