Access to information about donors by donor-conceived individuals

a human rights analysis.

Sonia Allan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


While assisted reproductive treatment using donated gametes is widespread, and in many places, widely accepted, it has historically been shrouded in secrecy. Over time, however, there has been an increasing call from donor-conceived people, recipient parents and some donors to end the secrecy, and to release identifying information about donors to donor-conceived people. "Rights-based" arguments have at times been used to justify this call. This article examines whether a human rights framework supports the release of information and how such a framework might be applied when there are competing rights. It argues that the current balancing approach used to resolve such issues weighs in favour of release. Legal action has the potential to be legitimate and justifiable. A measure such as a contact veto system, which would serve to prevent unwanted contact with the person lodging the veto (either the donor or the donor-conceived person), would ensure proportionality. In this way, both donor-conceived people's rights to private life, identity and family, and donors' rights to privacy may be recognised and balanced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-670
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Law and Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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