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VANCOUVER — The long-running battle over sperm donor anonymity is heading for the B.C. Court of Appeal on Tuesday. Lawyers for the B.C. government are expected to seek to overturn a ruling that last year struck down as unconstitutional the anonymous sperm-donor law. The appeal is scheduled to be heard over two days.
Olivia Pratten, who was born in B.C. and now lives in Toronto, has been trying unsuccessfully for 10 years to find out details about her biological father, who was an anonymous sperm donor.
The May ruling by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elaine Adair suspended her decision for 15 months to give the B.C. legislature time to redraft the Adoption Act to bring it in compliance with the Charter of Rights.
But instead of passing new legislation, the government has opted to appeal the ruling. Pratten believes the government is just stalling for political reasons that are unclear to her.
“In my eyes, it’s a delay tactic,” she said of the government appeal. “They don’t want to deal with it, but that’s been the problem since whenever we’ve done this. It gets bounced around between provincial and federal governments and no one wants to deal with it.”
Pratten added that while it’s been frustrating, scholars and legal experts have told her that the case will likely wind up being appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada in any event.
The judge found that the law was unfair because it allowed adopted children to find out information about their biological parents, but prevented donor offspring such as Pratten from finding out anything about their parents.
“In my view, the evidence in this case provides strong support for the conclusion that the circumstances of adoptees and those of donor offspring with regard to the need to know and have connection with one’s roots, are closely comparable,” said the judge.
Article: 13th February 2012 www.montrealgazette.com