Changes to the donor conception legislation means more options for children
Donor-conceived offspring born before 1998 no longer need consent to get the identity of their donor.
By Livia Gamble
March 02 2017
Children conceived using donor sperm will have now have the right to know about their donor in Victoria.
In a world first, changes to the donor conception legislation that came into affect on March 1 means people conceived using donor eggs or sperm can access information about the donor, regardless of if they chose to remain anonymous.
However, as reported by The Conversation, donors can choose how to be contacted – if at all.
“The new legislation covers people born before 1988, when sperm and egg donations in Victoria were made anonymously, and those born from egg, sperm or embryos donated between 1988 and 1998, when a donor’s consent was needed before their offspring could access information about them,” the publication writes.
“People who donated eggs or sperm before 1998, who may have concerns about how the changes will affect them and their families, can choose how they and any of their own children under 18 years of age are contacted. They can choose to be contacted by email, phone or letter, or by using a donor linking service. They can also choose not to be contacted.”
In 2015, a law change meant donor-conceived children could try and find their donors through the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, but making contact was still at the donor’s discretion.
The Age reports: “Donor-conceived offspring born before 1998 no longer need consent to get the identity of their donor through the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, which now has responsibility for managing donor conception registers.
“Those born after 1998 already had this right.”