Canadian Journal of Family Law

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In recent years, the number of nations which have banned the anonymous character of gamete donations has increased, including nations that once strongly supported such a position. This shift in national legislative policy worldwide has aided a growing recognition of the right to know one's origins in international law and gives a wider effect to this fundamental right. In Canada, while there has been discussion about the importance of the right to know one's biological origins, this right has not been universally guaranteed through legislation, either to adoptees or to the donor-conceived. This article refers mostly to Québec legislation, but combines analyses of Québec civil law and common law with continental European legal developments, which can assist legislative reform across the country. The authors are defending the existence of a fundamental right of the child to know his or her biological origins as part of the right to identity protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and are therefore focusing on the perspective of the child. Pursuant to the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Renvoi, which partially invalidated the federal legislation that regulated assisted human reproduction, this article takes a position in favour of provincial and territorial law reform that would explicitly recognize the right of the child to know his or her biological origins and ban anonymity in the context of gamete donation.