Even gay advocates are criticizing Ontario’s plan to change the definition of ‘parent’
June 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s plan to change the legal definition of “parent” to recognize homosexual couples could harm their IVF-conceived children, warns a trio of child advocates.
Wynne announced at the end of May that the Liberals will introduce legislation in the fall to ensure “equal treatment of LGBTQ-plus families,” including changing regulations for birth certificates.
But in doing so, the premier must also ensure that children of same-sex couples, “obviously” conceived through IVF, can find information on their “progenitors” — the donors of the egg or sperm that brought them into existence, point out Julie Guichon, Barry Stevens and Diane Allen in a June 6 commentary in the Globe and Mail.
Otherwise, the government will be putting the rights of LGBTQ parents before those of their children, asserted Guichon, assistant professor at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, Stevens, a filmmaker conceived through an anonymous sperm donation, and Allen, co-founder of the Infertility Network of Toronto.
And “children’s interests should not be second to those of adults. Children should come first,” they point out.
Although the authors don’t object to children being raised by same-sex couples, their recognition of a child’s inherent need for a connection to his or her biological parents underscores the natural law position of pro-family advocates: That children fare best when raised by their biological mother and father, a position backed up by several studies.
The federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act states that “the health and well-being of children born through the application of assisted human reproductive technologies must be given priority in all decisions respecting their use,” note Guichon et al.
And the BC Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that “like adoptees, offspring [children conceived through IVF] need social, psychological and medical information about biological parents. Even if well intentioned, serious harm can be caused by cutting off a child from his or her biological roots.”
The promised Liberal law to create “official documents that help same-sex parents” must therefore ensure “their children have documents that tell them the truth about their genetic origins,” state Guichon et al.
They suggest that “instead of falsifying birth certificates,” the government should mandate “two types of official records for everyone, irrespective of how they are conceived.”
One would be a “legal parent certificate” to “protect parents’ legal rights and be used for routine matters such as obtaining a passport and registering for school and sport teams.”
The other would be a birth certificate listing “genetic parents (including donors) and the person who gestated and gave birth to the child.”
This document would be “available to people either at the age of majority or when they are able to make their own health decisions.”
The Liberals should also mandate that “fertility clinics here and abroad to create truthful records of gamete provision” and to “create mutual consent registries, just as occurs in adoption” in order to help children locate their biological parents.
“How can it possibly be beneficial, psychologically or medically, to be deliberately deprived of knowing at least half of your genetic origin?” they ask.
The authors quote an adult offspring: “The ground that nearly everyone else has: a heritage, a connection with the past, a connection with kinfolk and my lineage. It is not something that is just missing from my own life; it is something that is now missing from my children’s as well.”
Gamete donor anonymity is banned in “Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, Germany and several Australian states,” they stated.
A similar concern for children’s need for connection to their biological parents — and of equal, if not greater significance, for both a mother and father — was voiced during the massive protests in France in 2013 against legalizing homosexual and lesbian “marriage.”
A number of prominent homosexual persons united with pro-family activists under the slogan: “The rights of children trump the right to children” to denounce President François Hollande’s same-sex “marriage” bill — which passed in May 2013.
Among these was atheist homosexual Xavier Bongibault, who stated: “In France, marriage is not designed to protect the love between two people. French marriage is specifically designed to provide children with families.”
Added Bongibault: “[T]he most serious study done so far...demonstrates quite clearly that a child has trouble being raised by gay parents.”
Pro-family advocates have argued the Wynne government’s plan is dangerous because it further severs a child’s connection with his or her biological parentage.
According to Gwen Landolt, vice president of REAL Women, Wynne’s promised legislation is “a travesty of common sense.”
In the case of a lesbian couple, “the partner who wants to be the ‘mother’ or ‘father’ has no reproductive or genetic relationship to the child. Why wouldn’t they adopt the child? Everyone else has to.”