Narrative Identity in Third Party Reproduction: Normative Aspects and Ethical Challenges

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 15 (1):57-70 (2018)
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Abstract

In the last few decades, assisted reproduction has introduced new challenges to the way people conceive and build their families. While the numbers of donor-conceived individuals have increased worldwide, there are still many controversies concerning access to donor information. Is there a fundamental moral right to know one’s genetic background? What does identity in DC families mean? Is there any relationship between identity formation and disclosure of genetic origins? These questions are addressed by analysing core regulatory discourse. This analysis shows that the notion of narrative identity is suitable for defining and answering these questions. This review analyses the meaning of resemblance in DC families and the way donors are selected following affinity-ties and discusses disclosure strategies and agreements. As a preliminary conclusion, it could be said that, in the field of third-party reproduction, knowing about the donor conception significantly contributes towards the development of a narrative identity and also serves as a moral basis for the child’s right to know.

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