Canadian Journal of Family Law

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This paper addresses whether sperm donor anonymity should continue in Canada and what the effects might be of abolishing anonymity, particularly for marginalized groups such as lesbian mothers. The first part of the paper outlines the legislative and historical context surrounding the donor anonymity debate in Canada. The second part of the paper addresses the interests of the various social and legal stakeholders, including donor conceived offspring, the social and biological parents of those offspring, and sperm donors. The final segment outlines a twofold law reform agenda. First, it is proposed that Canada prospectively abolish donor anonymity in an effort to meet the health and psychological needs of donor conceived children. Second, it is recommended that legal parentage laws be simultaneously amended so that the legal vulnerabilities women-led families currently experience, and which would be exacerbated by the de-anonymizing of donors, are removed.