Two good pieces of news from Germany over the past 10 days (and this does not include Bayern Munich’s defeat of Arsenal in the Champion’s League last night!). On 6th February The Higher Regional Court in Hamm, Germany, granted a 21 year old donor-conceived woman the right to access the identity of her donor. People who have been conceived in other circumstances where the biological father has not previously been revealed, have had this right for some time, but this is the first time it has been granted to a donor-conceived person. The court has stipulated that this ruling cannot be contested.
Germany has had a rather confused situation regarding legal rights to donor information for some time. This decision clarifies things a bit but, as Petra Thorn says in the linked article, there remains much to do. However, they are moving in the right direction, leaving other leading European countries such as France, Spain and Italy way behind.
The other very welcome news is that Germany has joined the tiny elite of nations who have national support groups specifically for donor conception families. On 9th February DI-Netz was founded http://www.di-netz.de and I am proud to say that DC Network played a significant role in supporting several leading families in getting it off the ground. A group of parents and some children came to DCN’s national meeting in March last year and the following day a couple of the adults came to see Walter and me at home. They wanted to know how to structure the organisation and what had worked and not worked for DCN. We were delighted to share both the ups and downs of starting and running a small charity and encouraged them to continue. They are an enthusiastic, well organised and committed bunch of people and we wish them very well. As with DC Network, I think the key to actually making this happen has been the coming together of a group of families with one aim in mind and a good skill mix between them. Several times, in other countries, we have seen single individuals or families attempt to do this without success. If a group of people share an ideal and a focus then much can be achieved. I personally, and I know DCN as an organisation, wish them great success. I know donor conception families in Germany will benefit enormously.