The British Columbia Supreme Court has held that legislation denying offspring of sperm and egg donors access to information regarding the donor is unconstitutional. The applicant, Olivia Pratten, pursued the court case on principle, after she was refused information about her biological father as the donor wished to remain anonymous. She argued that her and her future children's health may be compromised as a result, and that the governing legislation was discriminatory as adopted children were entitled to information that she and other donor offspring were not entitled to receive. The Court accepted that anonymity is not in the best interests of the donor offspring, and they and adoptees should have access to the same information. The British Columbia government was granted 15 months to enact new legislation.
Ms. Pratten pursued the case on principle as it is likely that relevant medical records relating to her have been destroyed as the doctor performing the procedure was required to retain them for only 6 years. Ms. Pratten is now 29 years old. The British Columbia Supreme Court judge also granted a permanent injunction to prevent future destruction of relevant medical records.
The ruling is the first of its kind in North America. No other province in Canada has banned anonymity for donors. Worldwide, a number of European and Australian jurisdictions have banned anonymous donation.