Donor conception and birth registration


Sir, – The article “Irish order 100 samples a year from sperm bank” raises many issues (News, September 3rd).

Anonymously donated sperm is still being sought by a considerable percentage of Irish customers, 35 per cent to date this year, according to the chief executive of the world’s largest sperm bank, as quoted in the article.

Perhaps this is because a law banning anonymous donation of sperm and egg and pledging to set up a register of donor-conceived persons containing details of sperm and egg donors, ie the identity of their biological parents, was passed in 2015 but has not yet been enacted and with still no date given for enactment.

This means that anonymously donor-conceived children are still being given birth certificates which do not bear the name of at least one of their biological parents.

Both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Children have rightly expressed outrage at false birth registration in past decades which deny children access to the all-important genetic records of their biological parents.

Everyone now appreciates just how important it is to know the identity of one’s biological parents.

Yet a cohort of children each year are still being born in Ireland who will find it virtually impossible to learn the identity of at least one biological parent and this despite a law in place, but not enacted, to prevent this.

We are still writing “dark chapters” in our history. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 15.