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Do you think a child needs to know how he/she was conceived?

(46 Posts)
eleusis Wed 01-Aug-07 08:28:48

This sounds like a crazy level of nanny state to me. Why is is important to note if a baby is an IVF baby on a birth certificate? Weird. And scary.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6924615.stm

mummydoit Wed 01-Aug-07 08:33:28

Oh yes, great idea. Let's add a whole new level of stress and pressure to those unfortunate enough to suffer infertility. They really don't have enough to cope with already, do they?

Don't these people have better things to spend their time on? This is so intrusive. Surely it's up to parents to decide if and when to tell a child the circumstances of its birth?

mumblechum Wed 01-Aug-07 08:35:06

Well I suppose the point is it's not just IVF, is it?

It's not being biologically related to one of its "parents".

It doesn't seem appropriate, however, to have it recorded on the birth certificate for any number of officials throughout the child's life - it's not relevant to the officials, only (possibly) to the child.

BandofMuggles Wed 01-Aug-07 08:36:27

It's a really stupid idea, but on the other hand some record needs to be kept of donated eggs and sperm babies or they could unintentionally marry genetic siblings one day.

It's murky water really isn't it??

FillydoraTonks Wed 01-Aug-07 08:36:39

but there are LOTS of people who are not biologically related to the person they thought was their father.

IIRC around 10% of people have the "wrong" father on the birth certificate!

Ladymuck Wed 01-Aug-07 08:36:59

But this bill isn't about the "method" of conception, but at whether donor gametes are involved, which is different (and for example would have an impact on family medical history and inherited conditions)?

I think families should be in charge of "when" they tell their children about how they came to be part of their family, but I can see the case that an adult should have the right to know important aspects of their medical history. Not sure that I feel the birth certificate is the best way round this though.

That said whilst apparently over 25% of children are fathered by different people than those named as father on the birth certificate, it does seem odd to single out one subgroup.

katz Wed 01-Aug-07 08:40:15

i have to say i agree with it being possible to find out if you were concieved using donated eggs or sperm. Medical history is important and i think that you should be able to trace this if possible. so no name but a number whihc can then be inputted into a database and you get a brief overview of the donors medical history

eleusis Wed 01-Aug-07 08:40:17

So, under the current rules, if a baby is conceived from husbands sperm and a donor egg from an unknown donor, what does the birth certificate show? Does it show the one who carrried the pregnancy as the biological mum?

katz Wed 01-Aug-07 08:41:26

eleusis - yes the women who gives birth to the baby is assumed to be the biological mother on the birth certificate

FillydoraTonks Wed 01-Aug-07 08:44:38

there are better ways to do it then.

put the donor no on the kid's medical records.

NOT on the birth certificate. I had to show my birth certificate when I was temping with the civil service as a student, fgs. We all brought our birth certificates into art class once for a project thingy.

Here's the difference. Medical records are confidential. Birth certificates aren't, anyone can get hold of them.

eleusis Wed 01-Aug-07 08:45:56

Ah, I think I may have gotten the wrong end of the stick.

But, this part still really annnoys me:

"They say the measure would give parents an incentive to discuss the topic before children found out themselves"

I do not think it is the governments place to meddle in when or how parents do or don't choose to reveal this information.

Yes, fair enough, biological information should perhaps be available to people (probably when they are adults, say 18 or so). But, the government has stepped into the world of nanny state if they think it is their role to encourage parents to tell children sooner and not later.

eleusis Wed 01-Aug-07 08:48:25

And of course, this impacts on the right of the donors too. I mean do you want to donate your juice if it means you will be on the birth certificate. Okay, your name won't be there, but someone somewhere can tie that number to your name.

meandmyflyingmachine Wed 01-Aug-07 08:54:00

I don't have a birth certificate for identification purposes. Because I am adopted, I have a certified copy of my entry in the adoption register. Which requires explanation. It is my business, and not anyone else's, yet I have to show this for identification. The same applies to donor eggs/sperm IMO. Not on a document that is essentially public IMO.

Ladymuck Wed 01-Aug-07 09:12:48

Eleusis, the law has already changed so that donors are no longer anonymous. It has led to a huge drop in potential donors (not surprisingly).

Furball Wed 01-Aug-07 09:15:43

and if you did conceive naturallyn they'll want to know what position you did it in!

margoandjerry Wed 01-Aug-07 09:17:37

I was shocked by this. My daughter was born by donor and she'll know from the beginning. I do not, on the other hand, want the woman in the post office knowing when she goes to apply for a passport...

Can't believe they suggested such a terrible idea.

meandmyflyingmachine Wed 01-Aug-07 09:18:29

That is exactly the point. This is a gossiper's dream...

eleusis Wed 01-Aug-07 09:20:28

I know, Ladymuck. But it still a bit of a sore subject for some and so this will no doubt open that can of worms.

mm22bys Wed 01-Aug-07 09:20:35

I think a child does need to know how s/he was conceived, but it really doesn't need to be publicised on a birth certificate. How mortifying! It's up to the parents to tell their children...

jaynehater Wed 01-Aug-07 09:25:49

<icy cold fingers of dread spread down jh's back as she wonders how Big Brother is going to incentivise her to tell dd2 she was concieved because dh was elated after winning a quiz night....>


This is not fair, I agree that the bald facts of your birth & conception shouldn't be open to all and sundry - birth certs are just too public. Medically, it's neccesary information, but surely the proportions of ivf donor birth are too slight to require such a public disclosure?[puzzled emoticon]

MarshaBrady Wed 01-Aug-07 09:29:14

Crikey this makes me mad. How about right to privacy. You would have no choice over random strangers finding out.
Its a public document.
Medical notes are private, put it on that.

Leati Wed 01-Aug-07 09:46:46

Hmm, this is interesting. If they were arguing that children should know for genetically inherited health issues, I suppose I would at least see their point. But that does not seem to be the case. I don't understand why you would want to add the extra confusion, if it is not necessary.

expatinscotland Wed 01-Aug-07 09:48:17

But if they're going to make sperm or egg donation unanonymous, doesn't it go to follow that a person conceived in such a way would know they were from their birth certificate?

eleusis Wed 01-Aug-07 09:50:56

How will they know? I mean if I go get a donor egg or sperm, the hospital I give birth in doesn't necessarily know that. I could tell them anyone was the father. It's not like they are going to do DNA test as a matter of routine on all birth certificate applications.

meandmyflyingmachine Wed 01-Aug-07 10:00:35

How do you mean expat?

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