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The Forum > Article Comments > What gay couples need to hear about 'donor' conceived children > Comments

What gay couples need to hear about 'donor' conceived children : Comments

By Maggie Millar, published 11/7/2011

No-one has a right to have a child, and the perception of such a right would be very damaging for some children.

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What a lot of homophobic drivel. All of this would then apply to heterosexual couples that cannot conceive naturally. I don't see the author clamouring for them to include the donor father in parenting.

The law is very specific, the donor of an AI conceived is legally not considered to be a parent. The child however, has the right to know his identity upon reaching the age of 18.

For gay couples, sperm donation is about creating a family, the donor has donated in order to facilitate this and does so with the strict understanding that he is not to be involved. It is perfectly possible for the donor to donate with the understanding that he is involved, and this does occur in many cases (you can search under co parenting sites).

I would bet that the author is motivated by religious reasons not with the well being of the child or parents in mind.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Monday, 11 July 2011 8:55:53 AM
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As clarification, the article by Angela Shanahan appeared in The Weekend Australian 19/2/2011.
Posted by L.B.Loveday, Monday, 11 July 2011 9:26:31 AM
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Shadow Minister is wrong on two counts:

(1) Maggie has made exactly the same points about the donor-conceived children of heterosexual couples see for example the article she wrote in the Australian Rationalist so she and her article are not homophobic, and

(2) She is not writing from a religious point of view and is in fact a member of the Rationalist Association of Australia.

SM and others on this site are too prone to jump to unwarranted conclusions that fit their preconceptions and match their crude stereotypes.

SM writes purely from the point of view of the adults involved.

Maggie's whole point was that the rights of the children are left out of this debate. Can SM guarantee that when all these children become independent adults, none of them will have grief or sadness about the way they were conceived? I think the answer is "no", in which case no-one has the right to take this risk with the lives of children who have no say in what occurred.

Maggie's is a voice for the off-spring, so please listen, empathise and try to understand.

You have nothing to lose and much to gain by this.
Posted by Ian Robinson, Monday, 11 July 2011 9:43:46 AM
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The reality of life is that every child who ever existed has one mother and one father. In some cases, a child is unable to grow up with one or two of their parents because of circumstances that are considered unfortunate, such as death, divorce or desertion. In most of these cases a child will still receive excellent care, either by a single or adoptive parents, but it is completely unconscionable in a civil society to deliberately separate a child from his or her biological mum and dad, merely to meet the desires of adults, no matter how good they might 'parent'. In such circumstances the state steps in to legally decreed somebody a parent, which is an inherently more unstable and arbitrary arrangement than the state merely recognising the biological realities of the natural family.
Posted by BW, Monday, 11 July 2011 9:44:11 AM
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I cannot for the life of me understand why this article is directed towards gay and lesbian couples who are/want to be parents.

Does the author have any idea how many heterosexuals deny children access to family members for a million different reasons? Does she have any idea how many children of heterosexual couples never know paternal or maternal grandparents and family when there's been fights, or parental separation?

And what about hetero couples who whose anonymous donors?

To build this argument for the rights of children around gay and lesbian couples is homophobic, and it certainly isn't doing any favours for millions of children who are denied knowledge of their families. Opportunistic prejudice is what I'd call it. Do some research and you'll find that the number of hetero couples who deny kids contact with and knowledge of their other family members and therefore half of their biological heritage, is far more than gay and lesbian couples.
Posted by briar rose, Monday, 11 July 2011 9:45:58 AM
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MULTIPLE BIOLOGICAL PARENTS ?

BW writes: "The reality of life is that every child who ever existed has one mother and one father."
This may not be true in the future ('A step towards three-parent babies?' [1]).
As Maggie points out, non-standard reproductive techniques are already complicating the issue of parenthood ('Multiple parents Challenging Our Concept of Parent' [2]).
Reproduction with multiple biological parents would add a completely new dimension of complexity ('A Legal Puzzle: Can a Baby Have Three Biological Parents?' [3]).

[1] http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080206/full/news.2008.560.html
[2] http://www.nelligan.ca/e/pdf/Multiple_Parents.pdf
[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/opinion/26tues3.html
Posted by StefanL, Monday, 11 July 2011 12:33:30 PM
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