The end of gamete donor anonymity challenged

Publié le 6 Feb, 2018

For clinicians Geneviève Delaisi de Parseval and Stéphane Viville, although genetic testing has already put an end to guaranteed gamete donor anonymity, “structured, welcome access to origins must be arranged”. Without overlooking the need for a “debate on access to origins for individuals conceived through gamete donation”, the swift introduction of an “organisation responsible for mediating between these young people and their potential donors” is under consideration. This organisation would be modelled on the Conseil national pour l’accès aux origines personnelles (CNAOP) (French National Council for Access to Personal Origins), the aim of which is to “facilitate access to personal origins for people born under X and adopted children when searching for information on their genetic parents”[1].

The recommendation is also inspired by the British model which has introduced a specific strategy to manage “requests from donor-conceived individuals as well as donors wishing to find out whether or not their donation has been successful”. This model also allows donors prior to amendment of the law to reconsider their anonymity and allow donor-conceived children to have access to identifying information.


According to the two clinicians, this kind of “mediating body would pave the way for lifting gamete donation anonymity, which would be desirable in the future but is difficult to implement because resistance remains strong,”. They note that claims from associations such as PMAnonymes are focused on “recognising a person’s right to access their origins”, but not to search for a surrogate father or mother. They “revolt against the abuse of power shown to them by the French State and medical profession holding their records, including medical records, to which they can never gain access”.


[1] “This law stipulates that an individual’s access to his/her origins does not impact civil status and parentage. Furthermore, it does not generate any right or obligation to the benefit or charge of anyone. Requests are processed via a psychologist or social worker trained in ancestry issues. The latter receives the requests and then meets separately with both sides before arranging a meeting between the two parties. Their role stops there. It is then up to each of the protagonists to decide what to do next”.

Le Monde, Geneviève Delaisy de Parseval et Stéphane Viville (19/01/2018)

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