Some thoughts about Conceiving People by Daniel Groll
1. The main thesis.
Should people who plan to use donated sperm and/or eggs to conceive a child use an “open donor,” who agrees ahead of time that any resulting children may be told who they are? In Conceiving People: Genetic Knowledge and the Ethics of Sperm and Egg Donation Daniel Groll answers yes; using an anonymous donor would be wrong.
Similarly, should people who adopt a child, adopt from parents who agree ahead of time that their child may be told who they are? Groll does not discuss adoption in detail, but his ideas support a yes answer here as well. It is not okay to have a “closed adoption,” where information about the child’s biological parents that would otherwise be public (for example, information on their original birth certificate) is kept secret by the government, and where (in some cases) the biological parents are promised that their children will never learn who they are.
I was adopted in a closed adoption and met my biological family when I was twenty, and I think the book’s answer to its main question is right. But what about its arguments for that answer? (My focus will be on the arguments in chapters 3 and 4.)