You wouldn't sell or give away your kids, would you?
So don't donate your sperm!
On reading the preceding article I immediately wrote the following letter to the editor:Carol Nader's article ( 'Making babies' 31/3) presents a precise but otherwise incomplete picture of the issues surrounding access to donor sperm for 'socially infertile' women in Victoria.Whilst Nader portrays in fine detail the hardships and activities these women have had to undergo in circumventing the restrictions of Victoria's current infertility treatment legislation, she pays scant attention to how this quest for their 'most wanted children' ultimately entails the negation of the genetic rights to which these children are entitled.For instance, she neglects to mention that children who are the result of inseminations presently carried out in NSW or Tasmania are not necessarily guaranteed information regarding the identity of the 'kind man (who) supplied the sperm' - the same man who is, of course, none other than their biological father. Indeed, it is not uncommon for women to travel to the clinic in Albury to purposefully ensure that the sperm they receive is from an anonymous donor. Sometimes, this may even be sperm which they have privately arranged to be imported from overseas sperm banks.It needs to be affirmed that what 'matters most to children' should not be, as Sarah Wise implies, whether they grow up in a loving family - no matter what the makeup of that family be - but whether our laws accord with international covenants guaranteeing them a right to their full genetic history.Hence, the primary concern of any new legislation should not be centred on legal recognition of the non-biological parent, but rather that full acknowledgement and identification of the 'missing' biological parent should be noted on birth certificates. Then, and only then, will a donor conceived person be guaranteed full disclosure regarding their genetic inheritance and unimpeded access to the identity of their father.Whilst Victoria's current and proposed legislation supposedly gives pre-eminence to the best interests of the child, the Law Reform Commission in its deliberations over the past four years has consistently stepped away from its obligations under international law to ensure total transparency with regard to that same child's genetic identity. For this it must be condemned.