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October 2014

Donor information amendments passed

Victorians conceived with sperm donated before 1988 will be able to access information with their donor’s consent.

World-first legislation to amend the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 has passed Parliament.

‘The Government recognises that it is important for donor-conceived Victorians to have access to information about their heritage,’ Minister for Health David Davis said.

‘Victoria was the first jurisdiction in Australia to recognise this need.’

Currently, all procedures using donor sperm or eggs are recorded in a Central Register with information about people participating in or born from donor treatment procedures.

Access to these registers is regulated by the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008.

Mr Davis said people born from donated sperm or eggs donated after 1998 can find out identifying information about their donors when they reach adulthood.

People born from procedures using sperm or eggs donated between July 1, 1988, and the end of 1997 can find out identifying information about the donor with the donor’s consent.

‘Changes in legislation reflect the changing attitudes to donor-conception and donor-conceived people’s right to information about their donor,’ Mr Davis said.

‘However, before 1988, donors’ anonymity was a requirement of the donation process.

Hence, people born before 1988 have had no right to this information at all.

‘With the new laws, for the first time, people born before 1988 will have access to identifying information where available – with the donor’s consent.

‘The Government believes this will balance the rights of donors, as well as the rights of donor-conceived people who wish to know more about their heritage,’ he said.