I’ve written a number of times about the case brought by Olivia Pratten. She brought a law suit in British Columbia alleging that differential treatment for adopted children (who have a right to information about their original parents in Canada) and those who are donor conceived (who do not) violated the Canadian Constitution. The trial judge has now issued a ruling in her favor. The province (that’s British Columbia) has 18 months to come up with a system to fix the constitutional defect. This is the first case of its kind I’m aware of.
I have not had a chance to read the decision and I am in meetings all day today, so for the moment I rely only on the news summary. Here’s the take-away:
The judge noted that anonymous donation remains the choice of many would-be parents who want control over what their child knows, when they know and who might be involved in their child’s life.
“But, based on the evidence in this case, I have concluded that anonymity is not in the child’s best interests,” Adair wrote.
“Strong and positive relationships with social parents do not satisfy or eliminate the desire and need of donor offspring to know where they came from, and their need to know their origins is just as powerful and real as those of adoptees.”
I look forward to reading the opinion, but for the moment I would note the careful line Pratten herself has drawn.
“I’m not related to my dad but he’s my dad,” she said. “This is a victory for them as well because finally what they were saying 20 years ago has been heard and recognized as being accurate.”
I think that is pretty clear, but just in case, I take it to mean that she does not invalidate the relationship she has with the man who raised her. And I suppose (though this may just be me) that she means she is not genetically related to her dad.
I’ll get a copy of the opinion as I can and I’ll get back to you with more.