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Conclusion: Preventing Origin Deprivation

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The blood-tie matters, in terms of law, social policy, identity rights, socio-cultural customs and attitudes, and psychological welfare. The argument that an accurately ‘narrativized’ background may help to prevent or minimise the worst harms of origin deprivation and promote outcomes based upon child welfare paramountcy, also seems to be gaining ground.


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  1. 1.

    Wegar (1997), p. 43.

  2. 2.

    See White (1980), pp. 1–23.

  3. 3.

    Strathern (2005), p. 3.

  4. 4.

    Levy-Schiff (2001), pp. 97–104 at p. 103; see further Morgan (1877); Lifton (2010), pp. 71–79 on how all members of the triad might be affected by unresolved grief over the losses associated with adoption.

  5. 5.

    Johnson (2002), pp. 39–54 at p. 39.

  6. 6.

    Brandon and Warner (1977), pp. 335–341 at p. 338.

  7. 7.

    Bonney (2002), pp. 201–208 at p. 207.

  8. 8.

    Franklin (2003), pp. 65–85 at p. 83.

  9. 9.

    Grace (2008), pp. 257–262 at p. 261.

  10. 10.

    Haimes (1988), pp. 46–61 at p. 47; see further Hargreaves (2006), pp. 261–283; McGee et al. (2001), pp. 2033–2038.

  11. 11.

    Miall (1987), pp. 34–39 at p. 34.

  12. 12.

    Raynor (1980), p. 37.

  13. 13.

    Levy-Schiff (2001), n 3, p. 102; see also Weider (1978), pp. 793–811.

  14. 14.

    Wegar (1997), n 1; see also Carsten (2000), pp. 687–703 on ‘difference perception’ p. 689.

  15. 15.

    Cahn and Singer (1999), pp. 162–165 at p. 162.

  16. 16.

    Lifton (1994), n 3, p. 37.

  17. 17.

    Ziller (1969), pp. 287–300 at p. 287.

  18. 18.

    Yngvesson and Mahoney (2000), pp. 77–110 at p. 77.

  19. 19.

    Verrier (1993), p. 109; see also Verrier (2003).

  20. 20.

    See for example Freidlander (2003), pp. 745–752 at p. 749. See also (accessed 21.02.13) for an insightful, useful resource in terms of vetoes, adoptee search information, law reform updates and pithy adoptee humour.

  21. 21.

    Wegar (1997) n 1, p. xii.

  22. 22.

    Alber (2004), p. 34.

  23. 23.

    See further Talbot and Kidd (2004), p. 273.

  24. 24.

    See further the proposed English legislative reforms (accessed 23.04.13).

  25. 25.

    See further (accessed 12.03.13) on the UK’s National Gamete Donation Trust.

  26. 26.

    Triseliotis (1973); Blyth (2002), p. 797; Bonney (2002), pp. 201–208.

  27. 27.

    Brown (2001), p. 538; Sandler and Joffe (1969), pp. 585–595.

  28. 28.

    Baran and Pannor (1989); Powell and Afifi (2005), pp. 129–151.

  29. 29.

    See further Turner and Coyle (2000), pp. 2041–2051; Turkington and Taylor (2008), pp. 21–38; Neil (2007), pp. 1–19; Carp (1998).

  30. 30.

    Bowlby (1980).

  31. 31.

    Ainsworth et al. (1978).

  32. 32.

    On Ireland’s ‘Magdalene Laundries’ see further The Department of Justice and Equality Report (accessed 21.04.13); see further (accessed 22.04.13).

  33. 33.

    See for example Australia (accessed 31.03.13).

  34. 34.

    An absolute right to genetic relinquishment is to an extent reminiscent of Roman family law doctrine, with children seen as chattel, subject to the authority or goodwill of their parents. ‘Tollere Libere’ for example permitted abandonment via exposure; a father’s refusal to ‘raise up’ such a child visibly endorsed relinquishment. Where another man lifted up the unwanted child, adoption was effected. Genetic fathers retained a power of redemption over children subsequently sold into slavery however. See also ‘patria potestas’ (family as discrete legal unit, virtually immune from State intervention) ‘ius abutendi’ (the right to destroy one’s ‘chattels’) and ‘paterfamilias’ (the family patriarch’s absolute power). See further Nicholas (1962).

  35. 35.

    See further Freeman (1996), pp. 273–297 at p. 297; Bainham (2008), pp. 260–262.

  36. 36.

    See for the UK’s Adoption Act 1976 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.

  37. 37.

    See for example Pratten v British Columbia (Attorney General) [2012] BCCA 480 on gamete donation; Kearns v France ECHR 10 January 2008 (Application no 35991/04 on closed birth records.

  38. 38.

    See for example Cotter-Busbee and De Meyer (2012).

  39. 39.

    See for example Ross v PEI (Supreme Court, Family Division, Registrar) (1985) 56 Nfld & PEIR 248 [1985] PEIJ o 1 (PEISC) (QL) on the need to identity to enable inheritance claims, medical information, and avoidance of incest; Re Baby Boy K (1999) 701 NY S 2d 600 NY Fam Ct; see also however Re Adoption of Baby Boy S (1997) 705 A.2d.822 (NJ) Super.Ct.Ch.Div; Kelly v Superintendent of Child Welfare and Williams (1980) 23 BCLR 299 (SC) and Re Adoption of BA (1980) 17 RFL (2d) 140 (Man Co Ct) where neither applicant succeeded in showing that ‘identity issues’ were sufficient to open their sealed birth records; Ross v PEI (Supreme Court, Family Division, Registrar) (1985) 56 Nfld & PEIR 248 [1985] PEIJ o 1 (PEISC) (QL) where it was accepted that the adoptee could access her records on the basis of the need to identity to enable inheritance claims, medical information, and avoidance of incest.

  40. 40.

    On the limitations of International law in this area see further Blyth and Farrand (2004), pp. 89–104.

  41. 41.

    See for example Yousef v Netherlands [2003] 1 FLR 210; Neulinger and Shuruk v. Switzerland (2010) [GC], no. 41615/07, ECHR.

  42. 42.

    Anayo v Germany [2010] ECHR 2083 (21 December. See further ‘The Best Interests Of The Child In The Recent Case-Law Of The European Court Of Human Rights’ Franco-British-Irish Colloque on Family Law (May 2011) available (accessed 02.03.13).

  43. 43.

    A fairly wide margin of appreciation not withstanding; see for example In Re L (Care: Assessment: Fair Trial) [2002] 2 FLR 730 on the need to view proceedings holistically rather than singling out particular aspects of process such as parental exclusion from meetings.

  44. 44.

    Pratten op cit n 36.

  45. 45.

    Pratten op cit n 36.

  46. 46.

    Kearns op cit n 36.

  47. 47.

    See for example Re G [2013] EWHC 134 (Fam).

  48. 48.

    Samson (1997), p. 226.

  49. 49.

    Eriksen (2004), pp. 49–62.

  50. 50.

    See Pratten op cit n 36.

  51. 51.

    On the different categories (‘generations’) of human rights see Alston and Robinson (2005); Alston (2005), pp. 755–829. See also Alston (1984), pp. 607–615.

  52. 52.

    See for example S v L [2012] UKSC 30 (11 July 2012); R and H v United Kingdom (2011) 54 EHRR 28; K (Children), Re [2011] EWCA Civ 1064 (20 July 2011).

  53. 53.

    See for example A & S (Children) v Lancashire County Council [2012] EWHC 1689 (Fam) (21 June 2012).

  54. 54.

    Demian (2004), n 22, p. 100.

  55. 55.

    Lifton (2010), n 3, p. 37.

  56. 56.

    1. The fundamental right to an authentic, ancestral identity is often a key component of child-welfare led best interests and the right to family and private life. 2. In terms of realising the right to identity, the best interests of the child may be closely tied to such issues as contact, ‘potentiality’ of relatedness or relationship, or to procedural matters such as passage of time. 3. The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. 4. The best interests of the child may require informational disclosure given the significance of the genetic connection and that a positive, juridical obligation to preserve or repair this connection exists. 5. Loss of genetic connection ought to occur only in exceptional circumstances. 6. Preserving genetic connections should not compromise the principle of child welfare paramountcy.

  57. 57.

    See however Re Bridget R et al (Minors) (1995) 25 USCA 1901 BO93520.

  58. 58.

    Miller (2002), pp. 196–200 at p. 197. See further Eekelaar (1994), pp. 42–61.

  59. 59.


  60. 60.

    Ibid p. 198.

  61. 61.

    See for example Rushton (2007), pp. 305–311.

  62. 62.

    See for example Schooler (2008), pp. 111–123.

  63. 63.

    Parkes (2004), pp. 587–615 at p. 600.

  64. 64.

    Ryburn (1995), pp. 41–64 at p. 42.

  65. 65.

    Levy-Schiff (2001), n 3, p. 102.

  66. 66.

    See further Feast and Howe (1997), pp. 8–15; Schechter and Bertocci (1990).

  67. 67.

    See for example Kirton et al. (2000), pp. 6–18 on the motivation behind searches.

  68. 68.

    See for example Kim et al. (2010), pp. 179–190 on the perception of group meanings as to race and culture; Hill and Edwards (2009), pp. 45–53 on the potentially adverse consequences of a lack of information on the child’s health history and the ability of adopters to offer ‘therapeutic parenting’.

  69. 69.

    See the Australian Government Apology in respect of forced adoptions available;fileType=application%2Fpdf#search=%22apology%22 (accessed 23.04.13).

  70. 70.

    Carsten (2004), n 13, p. 183.

  71. 71.

    Mnookin and Kornhauser (1979), p. 950.

  72. 72.

    King and Trowell (1992).

  73. 73.

    Baldassi (2004–2005), pp. 212–265 at p. 218.

  74. 74.

    Blaffer (2003) (as cited by Woodhouse (2005–2006), pp. 298–329 at p. 309.

  75. 75.

    The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, ss 42, 45, 48 allows birth mothers in civil partnerships at the time of conception, to be named alongside their partner as legal parent to the child.

  76. 76.

    See for example Baldassi (2006), pp. 63–100 at p. 64; Halbmeyer (2004), n 22, p. 147.

  77. 77.

    On Kafalah and best interests see Harroudj v. France (October 2012) App No 43631/09 available at (accessed 1.04.13).

  78. 78.

    On kinship care in the United Kingdom, see Nandy et al. (2011) available at (accessed 23.04.13); see also Selwyn et al. (2013) available at (accessed 23.04.13).

  79. 79.

    See further Nuffield Council on Bio-Ethics ‘Donor Conception: Ethical Aspects of Information Sharing’ (April 2013) available (accessed 28.04.13). See also comments on the Nuffield Report by E Blyth available Pv5J&PPID=290513 (accessed 29.04.13) and the differing perspective of C Smart available (accessed 29.04.13).


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Diver, A. (2014). Conclusion: Preventing Origin Deprivation. In: A Law of Blood-ties - The 'Right' to Access Genetic Ancestry. Springer, Cham.

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