The late discovery of adoptive and donor insemination offspring status : ethical implications for conceptual understandings of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle
Riley, Helen J. (2012) The late discovery of adoptive and donor insemination offspring status : ethical implications for conceptual understandings of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle. In Papers of the 10th Australian Adoption Conference, Australian Journal of Adoption, Melbourne, VIC.
Late discovery is a term used to describe the experience of discovering the truth of one’s genetic origins as an adult. Following discovery, late discoverers face a lack of recognition and acknowledgment of their concerns from family, friends, community and institutions. They experience pain, anger, loss, grief and frustration. This presentation shares the findings of the first qualitative study of both late discovery of adoptive and donor insemination offspring (heterosexual couple use only) experiences. It is also the first study of late discovery experiences undertaken from an ethical perspective. While this study recruited new participants, it also included an ethical re-analysis of existing late discovery accounts across both practices.
The findings of this study
(a) draws links between past adoption and current donor insemination (heterosexual couple only) practices, (b) reveals that late discoverers are demanding acknowledgment and recognition of the particularity of their experiences, and (c) offers insights into conceptual understandings of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle.
These insights derive from the lived experiences of those whose biological and social worlds have been sundered and secrecy and denial of difference used to conceal this. It suggests that acknowledging the equal moral status of the child may be useful in strengthening conceptual understandings of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle. This equal moral status involves ensuring that personal autonomy and the ability to exercise free will is protected; that the integrity of the relationships of trust expected and demanded between parent/s and children is defended and supported; and that equal access to normative socio-cultural practices, that is; non-fictionalised birth certificates and open records, is guaranteed.
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|Item Type:||Conference Paper|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2012 Helen J. Riley|
|Deposited On:||11 Dec 2012 22:51|
|Last Modified:||14 Jan 2013 17:48|
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