Many states have laws that may deem a person a legal stranger to a child they helped raise, if they are not married to the child’s parent or if they get a divorce and their partner wants to sever the connection. This can happen even if the person has no genetic tie to the child. Douglas NeJaime, a Yale law professor, is concerned that people may not understand the situations of these families and the legal risks involved. He is working with L.G.B.T.Q. organizations and other academics to create a joint statement of principles about access to a donor’s identifying information.
Malina Simard-Halm, a donor-conceived daughter of gay fathers, is part of a coalition calling to pause the passage of more disclosure laws. She believes that not knowing who the donor is doesn’t necessarily create a void, as long as parents are open and honest with their children about their conception. She recalls facing judgment from outsiders who placed more importance on biological ties than on nurture.
The framing of the importance of biological ties has been used in the past in the fight against same-sex marriage, with claims that children of gay couples would grow up feeling fatherless or motherless. However, research has shown that donor-conceived children generally do as well as their peers.
L.G.B.T.Q. families are concerned about ending donor anonymity and believe that allowing children to know their donor’s identity at a younger age could make families more legally vulnerable and impact how children and parents perceive each other.