Intended for healthcare professionals


Donor conceived children shouldn’t have right to be told of their origins, says Nuffield Council

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 17 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2475
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Children conceived from donated sperm or eggs should not have an automatic right to be told about their conception, recommends a report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.1

It should be up to the child’s legal parents to decide whether to make the child aware that he or she was donor conceived, says the report. It adds, however, that parents need more support to help them make and follow through on this difficult decision.

The report says that the state has an ethical responsibility to ensure that appropriate support is provided to donor conceived people, their families, and donors at all stages. It says that this support could come from a variety of sources, including fertility clinics, which should increase the level of counselling offered to prospective parents, new parents, and potential donors. Support services should also be available to donor conceived people who contact the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to find …

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