University of Montreal experts are available to comment to journalists about Thursday's decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia that will effectively end anonymity for sperm donors.

According to bioethicist Dr. Vardit Ravitsky of the Faculty of Medicine:

By putting the well-being of children first and acknowledging the rights of donor-conceived individuals to know the identity of their donors, British Columbia is joining a respectable and growing list of jurisdictions that have banned donor anonymity in recent years. But unless they are told the truth about the circumstances of their conception by their parents, children will not be able to access to information that can be crucial for their health and psychological well-being.

Dr. Alain Roy of the Faculty of Law commented:

Following expert testimony, the court has assimilated the identity needs of children who were conceived through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) with those who were adopted, in terms of both physical and psychological issues. Unlike adopted children who, in British Columbia, may obtain the identity of their original parents via various means, children who were conceived through ART cannot address their identity needs, as the law has not established any legal framework that would have required the archiving of medical files or determined accessibility to the names and other details of gamete donors. The court considers this differentiation to be discriminatory according to article 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and has given legislators 15 months to adjust the law as per the requirements of the Charter. All comparison with Quebec law must be undertaken with a certain amount of discretion, as the rules surrounding the accessibility of adoption files are not the same in Quebec.

Source: Université de Montreal