Page 2229 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022

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In closing I would like to thank Women’s Health Matters for undertaking a public survey to explore the experiences of Canberrans who have had difficulty getting pregnant or becoming a parent. This work was invaluable in its contribution to the ACT government response. I would also like to thank the stakeholders and consumers who generously shared their stories and perspectives about access to, and regulation of, ART in the ACT.

I want to recognise and thank everyone who has contributed, and will contribute, to this process. In particular, Madam Speaker, I want to thank Donor Conceived Australia and those who came and spoke directly to me about their experiences. Some very difficult but very important stories to hear.

Trying to get pregnant or become a parent via ART can be an immensely challenging but also an immensely rewarding experience for individuals, their families and loved ones. For an adult, learning you have been conceived via ART and having limited or no knowledge of your heritage and siblings can have significant negative impact on wellbeing. I want to recognise again and thank those stakeholders and community members for their generosity in contributing to improve these experiences.

I present the following papers:

Assisted reproductive technology—Regulation and access—ACT Government response, dated August 2022.

Assisted reproductive technology—Regulation and access—ACT Government response—Ministerial statement, 3 August 2022.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.37): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would first like to thank Minister Stephen-Smith and her team for this response to my resolution regarding the regulatory framework of assisted reproductive technology, or ART, in the ACT. I am incredibly pleased to see indications from the minister that creating an ACT regulatory framework including a donor register is a priority, with hopes of legislation being introduced next year.

Developing this framework requires a substantial amount of work to ensure the concerns of donor conceived people and the needs of donor recipients are addressed. I do stress there is an urgency to this. Until there is a register in the ACT, donor conceived people have very little rights. Shortly after being elected, it came to my attention there was no legislative or regulatory framework for ART. Earlier this year I was contacted by a major group of stakeholders who came into my life, and this was donor conceived people themselves. I was contacted by Donor Conceived Australia, a newly established group that represents donor conceived people.

Listening to these people telling their stories truly opened my eyes. These were stories of immense pain, emotional anguish, and fractured identity. I cannot express my empathy and compassion enough for the people I have been working with. One of

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