“MAP without a father”: children conceived through gamete donation left out of the discussion

Publié le : 7 July 2017

They should be “right at the heart of discussions”, but they were not heard by the Comité Consultatif National d’éthique (CCNE) (French National Consultative Ethics Committee): the first generation of children conceived through anonymous gamete donation “are trying to make themselves heard”, because “regardless of what people think about MAP for female couples, it leads to the birth of an individual who, one day, will wonder about his/her origins and will have to face the ban in France which safeguards irreversible, total donor anonymity”. Ever since the CCNE acted on its own initiative in this respect in 2013, the PMAnonyme association has endeavoured to “get the working party responsible for this decision to hold a fair and proper hearing”. But to no avail. Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who eventually agreed to a telephone discussion in mid-May believes that “the subject of the decision was not donor anonymity”.

 

However for the President of the Association, Vincent Brès, they are  “mainly concerned”. He commented as follows: “In the best case scenario, we are treated like children. Most of the time, we are ignored. We are completely excluded from a dialogue which is held solely between the ‘wise’ and the ‘specialists’. This issue is being held to ransom by the medical profession or politicians. But we have to ask ourselves what impact does donor anonymity have on children”. It is  “intrinsically linked to MAP”.

 

Conversely, the CECOS, centre for the study and preservation of eggs and sperm have “made their voices heard”. For PMAnonyme, the CCNE“recounts and appropriates its mistaken belief that only secrecy about the method of conception would pose a problem to people conceived by MAP – depriving them of access to their origins does not, in their opinion, pose a problem”.  “Not knowing your origins remains an injustice and often causes distress”. The association is concerned about the segregation practised by the CCNE: “How can you consider any problems surrounding access to MAP without evaluating the consequences and taking the person into consideration? Ethical reflection on the rights of ‘parents’ cannot go ahead without considering the children’s rights”.

 

Audrey Kermalvezen[1], former President of PMAnonyme “is not ready go give up after reading the CCNE’s decision“: “We are created from individuals, not from an interchangeable object. (…) We are part of a human chain and we need to forge our links”. She has also contacted the European Court of Human Rights on this subject emphasising  “the right to know one’s biological origins” mentioned in Article 8 of the European Convention on Safeguarding Human Rights.

 

[1] see Audrey Kermalvezen refers to the paradoxes of gamete donation

 

 

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