USDCC volunteers attended the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society’s 2024 conference in Toronto in April, speaking on a panel composed entirely of donor conceived people and aptly named “Voices from the People Who Matter Most.”

“The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society is Canada’s equivalent of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). To see a national organization host a panel of entirely DCP voices is incredible. It’s what we want—for the experiences and needs of donor conceived people to be centered,” said USDCC Vice President of Development Melissa Bornico, who spoke on the panel. Other speakers included USDCC Director of Public Relations Kevin Martin and guest blogger Natalie Albaran.

L-R: Kevin Martin, Natalie Albaran, Melissa Bornico, NoamTomaschoff, Cassandra Adams

This panel came into existence thanks to the hard work of Dara Roth Edney following the success of a panel of donor conceived voices at the 2023 Jefferson Infertility Counseling Conference (now the Jones Conference), which was moderated by USDCC Vice President of Mental Health Initiatives Joni Mantell

About these experiences, Bornico said the following, “This demonstrates two things: a growing number of individuals in this field want to do the right thing, and they are leveraging their professional positions to do it. It’s the lead that I hope to see more professional, influential organizations follow, including ASRM.”

Bornico continued, “We still have a long way to go though. Within the context of donor conception, not being donor conceived is a layer of privilege. People tend to take those voices more seriously than those of DCP. The best thing you can do as an individual in such a position is to use that privilege to support DCP advocates in whatever capacity you can. I truly believe that this can snowball into meaningful, sustainable, positive changes not just for donor conceived people, but for everyone in this space.”

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Top image by Alex Shutin via Unsplash