Access to information about the child’s biological family

CRIN believes that a failure to include sufficient information on a child's birth certificate and to make this accessible to the child as and when they request this violates their rights. In all cases, children should at a minimum have the right to limited non-identifying medical information about their genetic parents. Where there are no concerns about invading a genetic parent's privacy, identifying information should also be provided to children.

Where a conflict arises between providing children with identifying information about their origins and their parent’s right to privacy, access should depend on the circumstances. Where there is a risk to the parent should their identity be revealed, identifying information should be passed on at a time when the parent is able to grant permission or when there is no longer a risk.

The developing nature of this field also raises questions about whether a child has the right to information about their gestational mother, does the right to know one’s family relations extend beyond parents and when they should know about their circumstances of their birth in the first place, among others. 

Read more on page 12 of our discussion paper Age is Arbitrary: Discussion paper on setting minimum ages.

Access to justice

Where a child is denied access to information about their biological origins, they must be able to challenge such a decision. In this respect, access to justice acts as a safeguard. Children must have a range of avenues to challenge such decisions, including in the national legal system and at the regional and international level. Find relevant case law.