France removes the anonymity of future sperm and egg donors

Sperm and egg donors in France must, as of this Thursday, consent that the children they helped conceive can, when they become adults, know their identity and "access to personal origins".

This reform approved a year ago "was inevitable, because it accompanies a change in society"according to Dr. Florence Eustache, from the Cecos Federation, centers in charge of managing gamete donations and assisted reproduction.

Children born from donations made from this Thursday will be able to ask in adulthood to know who is "its" donor, a measure that does not apply instead to those who made their donations before that date.

In the latter case, a commission will be set up to help current adults find donors, but with no guarantees of success, since the latter may oppose the disclosure of their identity if they are contacted.

40 years ago, when the first inseminations were carried out, infertility in a couple was experienced as a "shame" or as a taboo, and some parents did not reveal to their children the conditions of their conception, according to Eustache.

However, Cecos psychologists currently advise families transparency and the desire of minors to know their origins is better understood, he adds.

For thousands of adults born by donation, it is about "a fundamental personal quest"according to Alexandre Mercier, of the PMAnonyme association and who identified his biological father after comparing his DNA with the results of an online database.

For Mercier, it’s about "put a face to that man or that woman, know to whom we owe our physical features, know their medical history and differentiate what we have acquired through our genes from our upbringing"he added.

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Nevertheless, "It is not about replacing our parents who have raised us, nor about stopping loving them"added the 36-year-old, who has been in regular contact with his biological father since finding him.

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