Gamete Donation: Improvements for Children's Rights?

Improvements for Children's Rights?

By Nicolas Bauer1552298110293

Update 12 April 2019: PACE adopted the Recommendation.

The parliamentary report “Anonymous donation of sperm and oocytes: balancing the rights of parents, donors and children” was unanimously adopted by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). It is accompanied by a draft recommendation to the member states, which will be discussed, amended and voted upon by parliamentarians during the plenary session in April 2019. This text, whose Rapporteur is Petra de Sutter, calls for the prohibition of anonymous donations of gametes to protect the rights of children born as a result of assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

The draft recommendation supports a real step towards the recognition of the right of children born through ART to know their origins, but it validates the violation of certain rights enshrined in the 1989 International Convention on the Rights of the Child. This draft recommendation can therefore be considered as a first step, essential but insufficient, towards an evaluation of ART from the point of view of the good of the children. These are indeed the main concerned by techniques designed to artificially conceive them. The ECLJ conducted this more comprehensive assessment in a March 2018 report “Violating the Rights of Children born of ART”.[1]

If the draft recommendation were adopted, it would not be binding on States, but it would “[invite] the Committee of Ministers to deliberate on whether these recommendations should ultimately become legally binding.”[2] More importantly, it would undoubtedly influence the examination by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of two French cases communicated in June 2018.[3] The Strasbourg judges will have to determine whether the applicants, born from anonymous gamete donor (heterologous ART), have the right to know the identity of their “biological” father and potential siblings.


(...) The rest of the text will be translated as time permits.




[1] Priscille Kulczyk et Nicolas Bauer, sous la direction de Grégor Puppinck, « La violation des droits des enfants issus d’AMP », mars 2018. (available in French)

[2] Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe (APCE), Commission des questions sociales, de la santé et du développement durable, rapport, « Don anonyme de spermatozoïdes et d’ovocytes : trouver un équilibre entre les droits des parents, des donneurs et des enfants », 23 janvier 2019, projet de recommandation, § 6.

[3] Audrey Gauvin-Fournis c. France, n°21424/16, requête introduite le 15 avril 2016, communiquée le 5 juin 2018 ; Clément Silliau c. France, n°45728/17, requête introduite le 23 juin 2017, communiquée le 5 juin 2018.