What Supporters Say about Colorado SB 22-224

U.S. Donor Conceived Council is proud to have collaborated with and obtained support from a variety of experts and stakeholders during the progression of Colorado’s “Donor-Conceived Persons and Families of Donor-Conceived Persons Protection Act” (SB 22-224) from initial draft to adoption by the Colorado General Assembly.

Here is what just a few of those individuals and organizations say about the legislation:

Advocate Genetics

Advocate Genetics supports this Act because donor conceived people and their families should be able to benefit from the evolution of personalized genomic medicine just like the rest of the population, and with the means to explore their genetic identity in the way that makes sense to them. Advocate Genetics is a team of board certified genetic counselors who provide tailored genetic counseling for patients seeking fertility treatment across the United States.

Colorado Fertility Advocates

Colorado Fertility Advocates believes that donor conceived persons should have legal protections for purposes of maintaining human dignity, addressing their medical needs, and maintaining connections to others who are in their genetic lineage. CFA is most appreciative of the opportunity to improve SB 22-224 and to protect and enhance fertility care access.

COLAGE

As an organization dedicated to supporting people with LGBTQ parents, we know that children come into families in many different ways. Many LGBTQ parents build families through assisted reproduction, including gamete donation, and those children and families need and deserve legal protections. SB 22-224 recognizes the importance of ensuring families can access non-identifying donor medical information which can help inform critical health care decisions, while also providing the option for adult donor-conceived individuals who wish to obtain identifying information about a gamete donor to do so if they choose. We’re thankful that lawmakers in Colorado are thinking broadly about the importance of protecting families and advancing SB 22-224 along with HB 22-1153 which will provide increased legal security for families formed through assisted reproduction.

Dr. Diane Tober, Associate Professor, University of Alabama

As a medical anthropologist who has worked on research related to gamete donation for over two decades, I am delighted to finally see legislation that recognizes the rights of donor conceived people. The bill also provides important considerations for egg donors that will improve informed consent.

Embryo Connections

Embryo Connections supports donors, donor conceived people, and their families to have the foundation to make informed decisions for their families. This bill allows for individuals to continue to build their families in ways that are right for them, and to support all participants to understand and embrace their genesis, or their contributions to others. We are grateful to U.S. Donor Conceived Council for listening to reproductive experts to establish practical and thoughtful guidelines via broad collaboration. Embryo Connections, a national embryo donation concierge, works with families forever grateful for their own children who want to give the gift of surplus embryos to others struggling to conceive. We proudly already adhere to the bill’s intent in our current embryo donation practices.

Family Equality

Children and adults who were conceived through gamete donation and their families are a diverse and multi-faceted community. As a national organization that represents LGBTQ+ families and those who wish to form them, we know that for LGBTQ parents within this community, there is a commitment to openness and honesty with their children about the circumstances of their birth through assisted reproduction and donor gametes. We support the structure that SB 22-224 creates for open and honest communication about family origins, and applaud the Colorado legislature for passing HB 22-1153 to update Colorado’s parentage law to include LGBTQ+ people who form their family using assisted reproduction.

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)

We’re pleased to see the Legislature working to ensure all parent-child relationships and families are protected under Colorado law and to encourage openness for donor-conceived people. Earlier this session the Legislature advanced a separate bill, HB 22-1153, to update Colorado parentage law to be inclusive of LGBTQ parents and to ensure legal security for families formed through assisted reproduction. The provisions in SB 22-224 for donor-conceived persons and their families to access non-identifying medical information about their gamete donor are consistent with the model Uniform Parentage Act of 2017, which GLAD has long supported, and the provision providing for identity release at age 18 represents an important step for many donor-conceived people and their families. We hope Governor Polis will quickly sign both bills.

Gestational Surrogate Moms, Inc. (Egg Donor and Surrogacy Agency)

GSMoms supports the Colorado bill because it clarifies the intentions of future donors and parents regarding any children born from this collaboration and the reality that anonymous donations no longer truly exist. Studies show that open donations are best for the people conceived through gamete donation and open and honest communication builds stronger families. Access to genetic medical history is important for everyone, and this bill acknowledges that need with informed consent of all parties.

Jana Rupnow, Mental Health Professional, Author of Three Makes Baby

I support the Act because as an independent mental health professional, I’ve witnessed unethical practices in the field that have hurt the lives of individuals and families. Witnessing the consequences of missing information and misinformation led me to write Three Makes Baby. Regulation will help ensure that for-profit businesses consider the long-term impact of donor conception on parents, children, and donors.

Naomi Cahn, Professor, University of Virginia School of Law; and Sonia Suter, Professor, The George Washington University School of Law

In ensuring that donor conceived people can learn the identity of the donor upon reaching adulthood, setting limits on the number of families to whom any one particular donor can provide their gametes, and ensuring access to educational materials that will guide families and donors through the process, “Colorado’s groundbreaking legislation provides fairness to donor-conceived people and their families that has been absent for too long. More states should follow their example.”

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

Many LGBTQ families are formed using donated sperm or eggs from unknown donors. Information about the medical histories of those donors and, once a child is an adult, the identity of donors, should be accessible to families who wish to know, while also safeguarding the privacy of families and protecting the recognition of families in every way they are formed. Laws addressing the release of information about sperm and egg donors must be passed alongside laws that respect families who are formed using assisted reproduction. We applaud Colorado for considering all of these important issues and passing SB 22-224 along with another bill, HB 22-1153, which expands protections for families formed through assisted reproduction.

CooperSurgical (d/b/a California Cryobank, Donor Egg Bank USA, Northwest Cryobank)

CooperSurgical’s industry-leading reproductive tissue banks, California Cryobank, Donor Egg Bank USA and Northwest Cryobank, are dedicated to growing and protecting healthy families. We believe that the definition of healthy family includes empowered donor conceived persons who are proud of their conception story, will know their donor’s identity if they choose to, and have access to medical information that could impact their physical health. It’s our privilege to continue advocating for the rights of the donor conceived, their families, and the altruistic men and women who generously donate their gametes to these families. We applaud the US DCC for their efforts that help protect the next generation of donor conceived children.

Seattle Sperm Bank

Seattle Sperm Bank has based its donor program on Open ID Donors and Identity Disclosure since our inception in 2008. We support the recent passing of the Donor-Conceived Persons and Families of Donor-Conceived Persons Protection Act in Colorado.

The Sperm Bank of California

On behalf of The Sperm Bank of California, the only non-profit sperm bank in the US, we support the new Colorado legislation to increase openness in family-building through gamete donation. From decades of experience and published research, we believe that (1) donors agreeing in advance to release their identity to donor-conceived adults and (2) tracking and limiting the number of families per donor lead to best outcomes for all parties—donor conceived people, recipient parents, and gamete donors.

We Are Egg Donors

As a global organization of thousands of egg donors, we are proud to support this Act. It represents a step forward for donor conceived people and donors alike. The reality is that at-home DNA testing kits are ubiquitous—and anonymity is no longer possible. It’s unethical to pretend that it is. This Act brings about much-needed changes, including recognizing the need for more research on the understudied health outcomes of egg donation—which thousands of egg donors are advocating for.

Top photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash