By Jennifer Lahl, CBC President
A landmark victory has just been won in Pratten v. British Columbia, a case that will undoubtedly set a significant legal precedent. On May 19, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled against the practice of anonymous sperm (and egg) donation, instead arguing in favor of donor-conceived children and their right to have access to information about their biological parents. The court’s decision stems, at least in part, from the notion that, when it comes to children, biology and biological parents do, in fact, matter.
Olivia Pratten, a brave young woman from Toronto, was at the heart of this legal battle. At the age of five, Olivia’s parents told her that she was conceived using an anonymous sperm donor, and thus, that the man she called “dad” was not, in fact, her biological father. And as with many children created through anonymous sperm and egg donation, she had a lot of questions: Who was her biological father? What did he look like? What similarities did she share with this man? But because Olivia’s biological father donated his sperm anonymously, most of her questions had no answers.
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