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The Right to Identity and Access to Information on Genetic Origin and Parentage


Book | 1st edition 2024 | World | Ingrid Boone, Machteld Vonk

Do donor-conceived children have a right to know the identity of their sperm or egg donor or should donors have a choice to remain anonymous? What does relinquishing donor anonymity mean for establishing parentage? Should laws regulating access to donor information have a retroactive effect? What are the experiences of children conceived with donor sperm? How can we prepare prospective parents for raising a donor-conceived child? Finally, how can we facilitate contact between children and their donors? These are some of the questions that are discussed in this book, which is the result of a multidisciplinary seminar on the right to identity and access to information about genetic origins and parentage, organised by RETHINKIN_, a Scientific Research Network (WOG) 2015–2024 of the Research Foundation Flanders.

The Right to Identity and Access to Information on Genetic Origin and Parentage explores the right to identity from an international human rights perspective and compares the national regulations of states that have waived donor anonymity. It describes different legal paths to discover or establish one’s genetic origins. In addition to legal analyses, the book includes findings from psychological research on the experiences of (intending) parents, donor-conceived people and donors. Moreover, this book not only delves into the theoretical framework, but, additionally, assesses the practices of counselling, registration and providing information, and DNA databases. In particular, the last two chapters focus on experiences in the Netherlands, which may be valuable for other jurisdictions developing regulations surrounding the knowledge of origins.

About the Editors

Ingrid Boone is Professor of Family Law at the KU Leuven Faculty of Law and Criminology, Belgium. Her research focuses on the legal design and consequences of the parent–child relationship in various family forms. She is a member of the KU Leuven interdisciplinary Child & Youth Institute. She is also a member of RETHINKIN_ (rethinking legal kinship and family studies in the Low Countries), a scientific research network of the Research Foundation Flanders.

Machteld Vonk is Full Professor of Family Law at the Law Faculty of Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on parent–child relationships in contemporary family law, particularly from a multidisciplinary or comparative perspective. She is a substitute family judge in The Hague’s Court of Appeal.

List of Contributors

With contributions by Ingrid Boone (KU Leuven, Belgium), Machteld Vonk (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands), Soraya Bou-Sfia (Supreme Court, the Netherlands), Elodie Decorte (KU Leuven, Belgium), Jo Dorscheidt (Maastricht University, the Netherlands), Astrid Indekeu (KU Leuven, Belgium), Janneke Maas (Fiom, the Netherlands), Julie Nekkebroeck (Brussels-IVF; Centre for Medical Genetics UZ Brussel) and Tim Wuyts (University of Hasselt, Belgium).

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9781839704376 / 9781839705250
Series name European Family Law
Weight 600 g
Status Available
Number of pages 170 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Apr 2, 2024
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents and Front Matter
  • Introduction
  • The Right to Identity in the European Convention on Human Rights
  • The Right to Access Information about One’s Genetic Origins in the Context of Medically Assisted Reproduction: Time Changes Everything?
  • New Legal Paths to Discover and Establish Genetic Origins?
  • The Meaning of Genes and Genetic Relations for (Intending) Parents, Sperm Donor-Conceived People and Donors, and their Experiences
  • Counselling Intended Parents in Need of Donor Gametes
  • The Dutch Act on Data of Donors in Artificial Insemination in Review: Lessons for the Future
  • The Fiom KID-DNA Database: A Decade of Experience in Facilitating Contact between Donor-Conceived People and Donors