A review of the bioethics law challenges sperm donor anonymity “which could be removed” for two reasons: the international commitments signed by France in relation to “access to origin” and the progress made in genomics which allow donors to be traced (see Gamete donor anonymity in jeopardy). If people are to believe the French Health Secretary’s announcement, “at the age of 18, a child [born by sperm donation] could have access to data which would identify the donor”.
However, “some would like to take advantage of this—under the pretext of transparency—to overturn the fragile legal framework supporting anonymous delivery”. Emphasising “the uniqueness of the French situation” attempts are being made to link this with medically assisted reproduction to kill two birds with one stone.
“Certainly, in most countries, this anonymity is not explained as such, but when a woman leaves her child in a hospital, she is not required to leave her exact identity”, says Rémi Sentis. “Launching a police investigation for every new-born child handed over for adoption in a maternity ward would lead to disaster. It must be acknowledged that women who resort to this option find themselves in a state of total distress and may even consider leaving their child in a public place (or sadly, in some cases, even killing their baby). If they continue along this path, despite the option to retract their decision (time-scales vary from one country to the next), it is because it is impossible for them to consider, at that particular time, that their child could come back into their lives some twenty years down the line”, he points out, highlighting the “absurdity” of drawing parallels between medically assisted reproduction and the donor in such situations.