Canada
BC Court of Appeal keeps sperm donors anonymous

Olivia Pratten was seeking to overturn BC's Adoption Act

Credits: CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY

CAMERON MACLEOD | QMI AGENCY

VANCOUVER -- After more than a decade of legal battles, Olivia Pratten was informed Tuesday by the BC Court of Appeal that she does not have the legal right to know the identity of her sperm-donor father.

"The (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) does not guarantee a positive right ‘to know one's past,'" the court's decision reads.

"Obviously we're disappointed by the ruling and will be appealing to Supreme Court of Canada," Pratten said when reached for comment.

The Court of Appeal decided men who donated sperm in confidence should be allowed to retain their anonymity.
Pratten and her lawyer had argued information about her father was "vital to her own health and to ease the psychological stress of not knowing who her biological father is."

Pratten was conceived in 1982 using sperm from an anonymous donor. When her mother and father consented to the artificial insemination procedure they knew the donor would remain anonymous. She is pursuing the matter on behalf of all other children of sperm donation who wish to know their genetic and cultural backgrounds.

According to court documents, Pratten knows almost nothing about her biological father other than the fact that he "was a Caucasian medical student, who had a stocky build, brown hair, blue eyes and type ‘A' blood."

The doctor who performed the insemination no longer has any records relating to it.

The rules say doctors are not obliged to keep patient records for more than six years from the last entry in them.

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