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General Issue

Removing Donor Anonymity: What Does it Achieve? Revisiting the Welfare of Donor-Conceived Individuals

Author

Michelle Taylor-Sands

On 1 March 2017, all donor-conceived individuals (‘DCIs’) in Victoria were given an unfettered legal right to access identifying information about their donors despite previous assurances of donor anonymity at the time of donation. At the heart of the debate over release of donor information is the welfare of DCIs. In this article, I argue retrospective removal of donor anonymity is neither necessary nor appropriate and may create more problems than it solves. The debate over release of donor information has been dominated by harm-based and human rights approaches to the welfare of DCIs, neither of which justifies retrospectively removing donor anonymity. I offer an alternative relational approach for evaluating the welfare of DCIs alongside the interests of other relevant parties and conclude the previous consent model in Victoria for disclosing identifying donor information provides a more effective way of accommodating the various interests at stake than the new model.

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