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Assurances of past donor anonymity are meaningless

Blyth, Eric (2005) Assurances of past donor anonymity are meaningless. BioNews (334).

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The New Scientist recently recounted the story of an American teenager conceived through ostensibly anonymous donor insemination who had been able to identify his donor through DNA testing and an internet genetic database service (also see BioNews issue 333, at

In fact, we have known since Barry Stevens' remarkable documentary, Offspring, released in 2001, that with some genetic background information, access to DNA testing and the internet, persistence, determination - and a bit of luck - it was possible for at least some donor-conceived people to identify and locate other people to whom they were genetically related as a result of donor conception.

Popular representations of such stories risk concealing the reality for many, if not most, donor-conceived people who are unlikely to make much progress in determining the identity of their donor and may give the misleading impression that establishing paternity through DNA testing is relatively easy and straightforward.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Childhood Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 11:30
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:26


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