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Privacy Law Trumps Constitutional Rights, Government Lawyer Says

The Vancouver Sun,  Oct 29, 2010
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British Columbia — The privacy rights of anonymous sperm donors should outweigh the constitutional rights of donor offspring, a government lawyer argued Thursday.

Leah Greathead, the lawyer representing B.C.'s attorney-general, told a B.C. Supreme Court judge that Olivia Pratten has a very sympathetic claim — she wants to know details of her genetic history from her biological father, a sperm donor.

"It is important to know your genetic history," the lawyer conceded.

But, she added, "There is no right for everyone to know their genetic heritage."

The lawyer argued the privacy rights of sperm donors should be protected.

The role of the courts is to review laws, not enact legislation, Greathead said.

Pratten has filed a lawsuit — believed to be the first of its kind in North America — that seeks to strike down the B. C Adoption Act on the grounds that it is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Pratten, 28, who was born in B.C. and now is a Toronto journalist, maintains that children born from gamete donations of sperm and egg should have the same rights as adopted children to learn information, when they turn 19, about their birth parents.

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