Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the Federal Government’s support of a donor-conceived child to know its biological parent.

While a State issue, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace welcomed the government’s acknowledgement in its response yesterday to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Report, to ban donor anonymity.

“The best way the Commonwealth can show support for this principle is to resist the push to redefine marriage and ensure that wherever possible children are raised by their biological parents,” he said.

“The government gave in principle support to the committee’s recommendation that there be a prohibition on donor anonymity which shows the government recognises the need for the individual’s interests to be protected – specifically to know who their biological parents are.

“The ACL believes children should, where possible, have the opportunity to be raised by their biological parents and for the government to acknowledge the innate desire of an individual to know their heritage.

“Last year’s inquiry was instigated by people, now adults, who were conceived using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). While most of these people grew up in a family with a mother and a father, the pain of having their biological identity hidden from them forced the inquiry.

“Compounding their sense of genetic bewilderment was the inability to know the medical history of their donor father.

“Donating sperm is not like donating blood – it’s about creating another human being and considering their needs and wants which includes the right to be raised by their father.

“Instead we’re allowing a practice to continue that goes against the organic, biological way children are brought into the world,” he said.

Mr Wallace said the ACL acknowledged the heartfelt desire of couples to have a child but it should never be without considering the rights of the child to have the best start possible with its mum and dad.

Mr Wallace said donor conception practices were increasingly being used by singles and lesbian couples and proposed same-sex marriage legislation would encourage the practice even more.

“This has been the main concern of the ACL – the impact of same-sex marriage on the understanding of family and having children being brought into the world and then deliberately denied their biological parent, something no government should facilitate,” he said.