A Calgary woman says she was shocked to learn of a policy at the city’s only fertility treatment centre that restricts patients from using sperm, eggs or embryos from donors who do not match their ethnic background.
Catherine, who asked to use only her first name, said she sought invitro fertilization at the Regional Fertility Program last March as a single woman. During routine consultations with her doctor she was told she could only use sperm from donors who were white, like her.
“That’s when everything went downhill,” she told the Herald. “I was absolutely floored.”
Dr. Calvin Greene, the clinic’s administrative director, confirmed the private facility will not treat couples or singles who insist on using donors of a different ethnicity. The policy has been in place since the clinic opened in the 1980s.
“I’m not sure that we should be creating rainbow families just because some single woman decides that that’s what she wants,” he said. “That’s her prerogative, but that’s not her prerogative in our clinic.”
A statement on the clinic’s website reads: “it is the practice of the Regional Fertility Program not to permit the use of a sperm donor that would result in a future child appearing racially different than the recipient or the recipient’s partner.”
Greene said doctors at the clinic feel “a child of an ethnic background should have the ability to be able to identify with their ethnic roots.” He added patients should have a “cultural connection” to their donors.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission upheld the policy after a white couple brought a complaint against the clinic about five years ago, Greene said.
They were not infertile but had hoped to use non-Caucasian sperm. “Our psychologist evaluated them and really didn’t see why a couple that is not infertile should be choosing sperm donors they have no cultural relationship with.”
[“Look how progressive we are! We reject our own people!” -Roger u]
Greene said the clinic’s policy follows similar guidelines used with in-province adoption and foster care, where children are placed with families of their same cultural background whenever possible.
“I would ask you, why would you not choose somebody of your own cultural background?”
The rest here.