The B.C. Court of Appeal has overturned a decision by the B.C. Supreme Court that ruled the offspring of anonymous sperm donors have a right to know the identity of their fathers.
The issue was initially brought before the B.C. Supreme Court by Olivia Pratten, who wanted to learn more about the identity of her biological father.
Pratten wanted offspring like herself to be treated the same as people who are adopted and argued that the B.C. government should change its laws accordingly.
In May 2011, a B.C. Supreme Court judge agreed with Pratten, giving the province 15 months to amend its Adoption Act, saying people who are deprived of their genetic backgrounds suffer psychological harm.
But on Tuesday, the Appeal Court ruled there is no legal right for offspring to know their past and providing such information would amount to state intrusion into many people's lives.
The court said there are plenty of non-donor offspring who don't know their family history or the identity of their biological father because of decisions made by others or the circumstances of their conception.
Supreme Court appeal planned
Pratten spent years trying to learn her biological father's identity, only to find out her mother's fertility specialist destroyed the records and then provided her with contradicting information.
She said even though she will never know her father's identity, she now plans to take her fight to the Supreme Court of Canada, for the sake of others in similar situations.
"The court has failed to recognize the rights and needs of donor conceived people, and we have a framework in B.C. and across the country for protecting adoptees and that's what we ask to be included in and they basically told us, don't bother," she said.
"I'm very disappointed. We will be appealing it to the Supreme Court."