The child’s right to genetic ancestry as a key element of the best interests principle in adoption, donor and surrogacy contexts: reforming adoption law in Northern Ireland
Dr Alice Diver (Ulster University)
This presentation looks at the right to genetic identity/relatedness, with reference to some recent controversial cases involving adoption, surrogacy, donor children in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. Such comparative research indicates that in many cases the rights of the child are either over looked or outweighed by parental interests/rights or in relation to issues of privacy, 'ownership', and immigration laws. Adoption law reform is needed in Northern Ireland. This presentation explains how this need presents an opportunity to avoid the controversies that are experienced elsewhere and to acknowledge/embed the best interests of the child principle in any future legislation. It draws on research findings about approaches taken in other jurisdictions when addressing issues such as genetic parenthood, post-adoption contact and accessing birth records, and evaluates the findings’ relevance for Northern Ireland.