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Personal genetic testing and the implications for the donor conception community

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This provides an incredibly interesting perspective for the future of anonymity in donor conception.  Anyone contemplating either becoming a donor, or having a child via donor conception, who believes that donor conceived people can (or should) be kept “in the dark” about their biological identity should consider the implications of genetic testing in the broader community. http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_934804.asp

“There have been calls in the USA for genetic counsellors to get involved in ancestry testing, particularly in cases where customers receive unexpected results. One genetic counsellor in the USA helps to run a secret support group on Facebook for people who have received family surprises as a result of a genetic test. In the UK, genetic counselling is available on the NHS but it is necessary to get a referral from a general practitioner or hospital consultant and the service is geared up for providing support for clinical issues and not psychosocial issues arising as a result of consumer genetic testing. There is perhaps scope for genetic counsellors to set up in private practice to fill this gap in the market or for trained counsellors and psychotherapists to specialise in providing support for the unexpected consequences of genetic testing.

The massive growth of the consumer DNA databases has important implications for everyone working in the fertility industry and for parents who are considering using egg or sperm donation to start or complete their family. Parents should be advised from the outset of the high likelihood of the child discovering his or her donor origins as a result of genetic ancestry testing. Donors should be alerted to the possibility that their anonymity could be breached.

Personal genetic testing is here to stay. The fertility sector must now get to grips with the consequences.”

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