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Should in-vitro children be told how they were conceived?

In-vitro fertilization and other modern fertility practices -- like surrogacy and artificial insemination -- bring up different legal questions. Most importantly, do the children born from these practices have the right to know who their real parents are? And, should these children be given other special rights?

A professor from University of California Berkeley says that children born by modern fertilization practices deserve special rights. She also says that the government needs to step up its regulation of the currently-booming fertility industry.

The UC Berkeley professor thoroughly covers the issue in her book entitled Babies of Technology: Assisted Reproduction and the Rights of the Child. In the book, she says that sperm donors receive the promise of anonymity; however, because one man could give an unlimited number of donations, any particular donor could have hundreds of children wanting to know who their father is.

The author states specifically that children have the right to learn about their biological parents. She argues that we all have a real need to know about our roots and where we come from. In fact, according to the United Nations, this "need to know" is considered a human right. In 1989, the United States signed a United Nations treaty to this effect, but the United States never ratified the treaty into federal law.

In addition to knowing who the biological parent is, other legal issues arise regarding the rights of these children. For example, can a child born from frozen sperm, long after the father died, receive Social Security death benefits? Under the current legal standards, the child cannot.

These important legal questions surrounding fertilization treatments will have to remain unanswered for now. In the meantime, Florida parents may want to educate themselves on how their fertility treatments could affect them legally. Indeed, it's important to address these questions before agreeing to a new or experimental fertilization practice.

Source: Berkeley News, "Fighting for children’s rights in the high-tech fertility age," Anne Brice, April 14, 2017

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