Who’s re­spon­si­ble for autis­tic donor-con­ceived kids?

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS -

af­ter danielle rizzo’s first son and then her sec­ond were di­ag­nosed with autism, she has strug­gled with the how and why. She won­dered whether she could have pre­vented the con­di­tion in her sec­ond child by putting him on a gluten­free and ca­sein-free diet. did she have her chil­dren, born 14 months apart, too close to­gether?

rizzo came to sus­pect a ge­netic link in­volv­ing the sperm donor for both chil­dren af­ter find­ing sev­eral other chil­dren con­ceived with the same donor’s sperm who have also been di­ag­nosed with autism or re­lated devel­op­men­tal chal­lenges.

While there is no cen­tral data­base of donors and their chil­dren in the U.S., some sperm banks try to mit­i­gate risks of donors pass­ing on ge­netic con­di­tions by test­ing them for up to 400 com­mon her­i­ta­ble con­di­tions. but ge­netic test­ing is not re­quired and is by no means com­pre­hen­sive.

One of the big­gest ques­tions aris­ing from rizzo’s case is that of le­gal li­a­bil­ity, and how to as­sign dol­lar fig­ures to the harm.

a re­lated soul-search­ing took place in bri­tain a few years ago when bri­tain’s largest sperm bank banned men with dys­lexia, autism or adhd from do­nat­ing. crit­ics ac­cused the London Sperm bank of pro­mot­ing eu­gen­ics and try­ing to im­prove the hu­man race through ge­netic se­lec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.