How do Single Mothers by Choice Promote the Health and Wellbeing of Their Donor-Conceived Children and What Role Should Law Play?
There is increasing international consensus that the best interests of donor-conceived children should be the focal point of laws regulating assisted reproduction, with particular attention given to the promotion of children’s health and wellbeing. To achieve this objective, the Australian regulatory system has adopted a position of openness, the presumption being that children’s health is enhanced by access to information about their conception, their donors, and other donor relatives. This article explores the lived experience of 25 single mothers by choice (SMCs) who have attempted to promote the health and wellbeing of their donor-conceived children by exploring the possibility of seeking access to information about their child’s donor and/or other donor relatives. It argues that, while aspects of Australia’s regulatory framework facilitate the type of openness SMCs sought for their children, significant gaps remain. In particular, the absence of legislation in some states, and inconsistencies between and within state laws mean that the rights of donor-conceived children vary dramatically across the country.
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