According to a 2009 report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, there are clear benefits to treating Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures with the same practices of traditional adoption and the two processes are more similar than many previously believed. ART refers to the practice of using artificial methods to achieve pregnancy including the use of donor eggs and sperm as well as donor embryos which the report explains has few differences than adoption.

The report, entitled OLD LESSONS FOR A NEW WORLD: Applying Adoption Research and Experience to Assisted Reproductive Technology, states that the similarity between ART pregnancy and adoptions is that both create families where children are not genetically related to one or both parents. The report proceeds to recommend that families be more open in educating children produced by ART about their history and origins.

Institute researchers state that withholding information about how ART children came to be can possibly cause unnecessary problems in the future.

According to the report, children born of ART “should be able to learn the circumstances of their births, as well as their biological and medical backgrounds. To ensure that this happens, the U.S. should join Great Britain and other countries in mandating that donor-conceived offspring be given access to this information at age 18, and practice models should be implemented for ART practitioners to provide for such disclosure.”

Researchers even recommend that the U.S Government has a role to play in the process of helping ART adoptees discover their genetic past.

“The U.S. also should establish a national database to collect, maintain, and facilitate access to information enabling gamete providers to routinely update the medical, historical, and other information they supplied at the time of donation.” (Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute)

To read the full report click here.

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