Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Top Court Won't Hear Case into Rights of Children Born through Sperm Donation

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Top Court Won't Hear Case into Rights of Children Born through Sperm Donation

Article excerpt

Top court refuses to hear sperm donation case

--

VANCOUVER - Olivia Pratten had long ago come to terms with the reality that she would likely never know the identity of her biological father.

Pratten was born in Nanaimo, B.C., in 1982 after her parents, who couldn't conceive on their own, turned to sperm donation.

When, at 19, she asked the doctor who oversaw the procedure for more information about the donor, he refused. When she pressed the issue in court, she was told the records related to her case had been destroyed.

With the Supreme Court of Canada announcing Thursday it will not hear her case, Pratten says more children like her will have no way to learn the identities of the sperm donors who helped bring them into the world.

"My files were destroyed, and that was legally allowed -- the fact that that's fine is not OK, it's a step in the wrong direction," Pratten, now 31 and living in Toronto, said in an interview Thursday.

"I never wanted anyone to be in my situation again, and unfortunately, as a result of this ruling, there will be more people in my situation."

Pratten filed a legal challenge five years ago, arguing her charter rights were violated because the B.C. government had nothing in place to preserve records from sperm donations or make them available to the children conceived through such procedures.

She argued children conceived through sperm donation should have the same rights to access information about their biological fathers as children who are adopted. Her lawyer said such children have a right to know their medical history and prevent themselves from unknowingly engaging in a sexual relationship with a half-sibling.

The B.C. Supreme Court agreed with her, concluding anonymous sperm donation "is harmful to the child" and striking down sections of the province's Adoption Act as unconstitutional. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.