In many states, if you are part of a couple raising a child and you never marry or you divorce and your partner wants to sever the relationship, you may be considered a legal alien for a child you have helped to raise but with whom you do not share a genetic link. “I worry that people are acting in good faith but not understanding the situation of these families,” says Douglas NeJaime, a Yale law professor who is working with LGBTQ organizations and other scholars on a joint statement of principles on access to donor identifying information. “There is real legal risk in many places. And then there is the idea expressed by these laws, namely that biological bonds are more important than other bonds.

Malina Simard-Halm, 27, a daughter conceived by a gay couple, is a former board member of Family Equality and Colage, two LGBTQ family groups that are part of a coalition calling for a halt to adoption more disclosure laws. . Simard-Halm sympathizes with Levy Sniff, but she doesn’t want the state to suggest that finding her donor is vital. Not knowing who that person is doesn’t necessarily create a void, she says. Her parents were upfront about how she and her brothers were conceived — an approach that tends to strengthen parent-child relationships, research shows — and she didn’t feel a sense of loss.

Simard-Halm remembers having to resist the judgment of strangers, who imposed on him the assumption that nature matters more than nurture. “People were asking, ‘Who is your mother? Where is she?’” Simard-Halm said. “Sometimes they would say outright, ‘She’s your real mother.’ You have to be with her.’

This framing has been used in the past in the fight against same-sex marriage. A 2010 survey, titled “My Daddy’s Name Is Donor” and funded by the Institute for American Values, a conservative group, claimed that many donor-conceived children feel hurt and isolated by their origins. The study was not peer-reviewed, and other research has shown that donor-conceived children generally do as well as their peers. But for years in court, opponents of same-sex marriage argued that children of same-sex couples would grow up worse off, feeling fatherless or motherless.

LGBTQ families are also concerned that some people who advocate for an end to anonymity, including Levy Sniff, believe that children should be able to know the identity of their donor before the age of 18. or 14 years old. their families and how their parents are doing. Lowering the age “makes families more legally vulnerable,” says Courtney Joslin, a law professor at the University of California, Davis. “And that impacts both the social perception of the family and perhaps how children and parents view themselves.”

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