Donor-conceived and surrogate-born people heard for the first time at the UN during the 30th Anniversary Convention on the Rights of the Child
Introduction by Sonia Allan and Stephanie Raeymaekers
Statement 1 Gee Roberts
Statement 2 by Matty & Beth Wright and Albert Frantz
Statement 3 by Catarina Almeida and Damian Adams
Statement 4 by Joey Hoofdman
Statement 5 by Jo Lloyd and Joanna Rose
Statement 6 by Hayley Smith and Sharni Wilson
Statement 7 by S. G. and Courtney du Toit
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 was an historic day for the United Nations as well as people created via donor conception and surrogacy. It was the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (the most widely adopted human rights treaty in history). At a conference celebrating this event, in the Palais De Nations, Geneva, It was also the first time that a large international group of donor-conceived or surrogacy-born people had the chance to speak about their lived experience at the United Nations.
By sharing their personal stories, they highlighted the consequences of ignoring the voices of those most affected by these practices—the people born as a result of the use of donor eggs, sperm or embryos, and/or surrogacy (third-party reproduction). They were met with a standing ovation from the audience and the panel.
Most importantly it was seen that practices, both past and present, result in the deprivation of our fundamental rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child – including, but not limited to, rights conferred by Articles 7, 8 and 35. We have the right to identity, the right to family relations, and the right not to be bought or sold in any form. These are rights that signatories to the Convention—literally every country in the world—have a responsibility to protect.
Below you can find our written speeches and recommendations for ethical practices that were presented directly to the assembly and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the official ceremony.
If you wish to express your support and stand by us in our mission to see the fundamental rights of children born as a result of third-party reproduction upheld, please sign our petition.
All donor-conceived people present were there by own financial means. You can contribute to their costs by supporting them through the GoFundMe page they set up. You can still make a donation via http://tiny.cc/j4iqgz
Recommendations drafted and presented on the Plenary, 20 November 2019 - United Nations Geneva
There is a need for urgent national and international measures, which are inclusive of and made in consultation with a broad representation of donor-conceived and surrogacy born persons. These voices need to be heard, listened to and acted upon.
States should create international and national frameworks and laws that:
Ensure the right of donor-conceived and surrogacy born children to access information about their identity and origins regardless of when these children were conceived and born and to preserve relations with their biological, social and gestational families.
Ensure that comprehensive and complete records of all parties involved in the conception of the child be held by the State in perpetuity for future generations.
Respect and promote the full and effective enjoyment of all the rights of donor-conceived and surrogacy-born children in both the immediate and longer terms.
Ensure that the best interests of the child be the paramount consideration in all relevant laws, policies and practices and in any judicial and administrative decisions. This requires a best interests assessment pre-conception on an individual case by case basis.
Prohibit all forms of commercialisation of gametes, children, and surrogates including, but not limited to, the sale and trafficking in persons and gametes.