Changes to law to allow donor conceived people to find their donors
The Victorian Government has announced changes in laws that will allow for all donor-conceived Victorians to be able to access information about their donors.
From March 1, 2017 the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act Amendment Bill 2015 will allow for all donor-conceived Victorians to be able to access available identifying information about their donors and heritage without donor consent.
The amendment to the Bill successfully passed through the Victorian Legislative Council last night.
Previously, only people born from sperm or eggs donated after 1998 could automatically find out available identifying information about their donors when they reach adulthood.
Changes to the law in 2015 meant donor-conceived people born before 1998 could access this information, but only with donor consent.
The Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said the government recognises that it is important for all donor-conceived Victorians to access information about their heritage, no matter when their donors donated:
“We believe all donor-conceived people should have the right to know about their genetic heritage, no matter when their donors donated,” Hennessy said.
“This information can make a huge difference to the lives of donor-conceived Victorians. If this information is available, it shouldn’t be kept from them.”
The Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority will manage access to information about donors and provide counselling and support for donors, donor-conceived people and their families.
The new laws establish contact preferences for donors who donated pre-1998 to manage contact or choose no contact, with their donor-conceived offspring. This recognises that these donors donated on the expectation that they could remain anonymous.
Donor-conceived people will also be able to lodge contact preferences where their donors seek identifying information about them.