Saturday, March 19, 2011


This paper focuses on assisted reproductive technology and "designer babies," but notes that some of the same issues arise in adoption:
Some old and new phenomena – adoption is old, assisted reproductive and genetic technologies and same-sex marriage are new – have recently thrown the issue of children’s rights with respect to their biological origins, biological families and family structure into the public policy spotlight and public square debate. Adoption has long challenged children’s rights with respect to their biological families.

* * *

It is one matter for children not to know their genetic identity as a result of unintended circumstances. It is quite another matter to deliberately destroy children’s links to their biological parents, and especially for society to be complicit in this destruction. It is now being widely recognized that adopted children have the right to know who their biological parents are whenever possible, and legislation establishing that right has become the norm. [In Europe, but the U.S. is woefully behind in this matter.]

* * *

Ethics, human rights, and international law – as well as considerations such as the health and well-being of adopted and donor-conceived children – all require that children have access to information regarding their biological parents. And it is not just these children who have this right, but their future descendants as well. Children deprived of knowledge of their genetic identity – and their descendants – are harmed physically and psychologically.
An interesting read (I don't agree with all of it) -- especially as an antidote to Elizabeth Bartholet's human rights vision of fungible families

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