It’s a very busy week for me, isn’t it? For a long time now I’ve been following a case pursued by Oliva Pratten. There’s an important new development in the case.
Pratten was born in 1982. Her mother conceived using sperm from an anonymous donor. As an adult and with the support of her parents, she sued to obtain identifying information about that donor. Though it wasn’t clear she could actually get any information herself given the passage of time, her case had broad implications for donor-conceived people more generally. There’s a new ruling in her case–one that reverses an earlier judgment in Pratten’s favor. (You can read earlier blog posts for background. I should probably do that, too.)
Among other things, Pratten made an interesting argument comparing donor conceived people to adopted people. Canada guarantees access to adoption records for adoptees when they come of age. Pratten asserted that treating donor conceived people differently was problematic. The Court of Appeals for British Columbia did not accept this (or any of her other) arguments.
In particular, the court rejected Pratten’s contention that the Canadian Charter recognized any right to know one’s past. The court also affirms the right of the legislature to treat adoptees differently from those who are donor conceived.
The opinion is much longer than this, of course, and warrants further thought. For the moment I thought I’d just let folks know it was out there.