Gamete Donor Anonymity: What's Privacy Got to Do with It?


  • Natasha Procenko


In Canada, gamete donor anonymity is tacitly protected in the absence of laws or regulations that explicitly address the topic. This article explores and characterizes the historical and contemporary role of privacy, as a publicly protected legal interest, in the context of gamete donation. Ultimately, this article argues that anonymous gamete donation is not supported by the principle of privacy in Canadian law. The argument proceeds by identifying and exploring three candidate rationales for gamete donors’ interests in privacy as referenced in past and current government reports, legislation, and case law, but ultimately reveals them as wanting and unfounded from a legal standpoint. The implication of this is that the protection of donor anonymity cannot find support in appeals to donors’ privacy interests, and that the legal defensibility of the practice — if it can be defended at all — must be found elsewhere.