Children born of a gift: will the widespread availability of genetic testing end anonymity?

Children born of a gift: will the widespread availability of genetic testing end anonymity?


  • Susanna Marinelli School of Law, Polytecnic University of Marche, 60121 Ancona, Italy
  • Stamatios Petousis 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Chrysoula Margioula-Siarkou 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Alessandra Lopez Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Villa Sofia Cervello Hospital, University of Palermo, Italy
  • Valentina Billone Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Villa Sofia Cervello Hospital, University of Palermo, Italy
  • Gianluca Montanari Vergallo Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopedic Sciences, “Sapienza” University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy


medically-assisted procreation (MAP), legislation, anonymity, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, right to know one’s genetic origins


In the field of genetics, the proliferation of direct-to-consumer genetic testing tools is calling into question the principle of gamete donor anonymity, still codified in many legislative frameworks. While ethicists debate whose rights should be prioritized, many donor-conceived people and intended parents are currently sharing their genetic information. Those who attempt to conceive with donor sperm or eggs face many obstacles: they often experience the social stigma associated with infertility, and therefore choose not to reveal the existence of a donor to their children. Sometimes it is the children, when they are informed that they were conceived through gamete donation, who claim the right to know their genetic origins. Many states still do not allow this possibility because the principle of anonymity is in force. In this scenario, it is necessary to discuss the right to know one’s genetic origins and the need for legislation on heterologous fertilization, since the lack of specific legislation makes discrimination and inequality more likely, for homosexual as well as heterosexual intended parents. This article focuses on the importance of accessing information in relation to identity formation, laying out the complexities and distinctive features that such dynamics entail.


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How to Cite

Marinelli S, Petousis S, Margioula-Siarkou C, Lopez A, Billone V, Montanari Vergallo G. Children born of a gift: will the widespread availability of genetic testing end anonymity?. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2024 Jun. 21 [cited 2024 Jul. 25];95(3):e2024115. Available from: