Page 2231 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022
On the night that I had found out I was donor conceived, my mum let out a giggle with a tone of worry when she said, “You have no idea how many times I would pray that you would never have a relationship with a brother”. I felt sick. I wanted to recall every single sexual relationship I have ever had, and the possibly that they could be a brother. I figured that none of my long-term boyfriends were, but the short-term one night stands, I will never know.
In 2020, I received a new message from a person through Ancestry.com. This person wrote to me that they were very confused by our DNA match. It showed that we were closely related, possibly first cousins or siblings. But I was confused. When I had connected with my biological father, he had reached out to the clinic to find out how many children had come from his donation. The clinic had told him that there was just one successful birth of a child, and we assumed that was me. But through this new Ancestry match, it became clear that the clinic had no accurate data at all.
This person and I were, in fact, brother and sister. I was the first person to tell Daniel that he was my brother, and that he was donor conceived. This was a secret that was kept from him for 30 years. When I first met my brother Daniel, we began to connect some very scary dots. I had a sexual relationship with one of his best friends. The degree of separation was concerning. Daniel and I are two years apart. Four years later, I am on edge as I realise that there may be many more brothers or sisters of mine out there.
There are so many gaps in this space, and much support is needed to help with mental health, parental support, rights to access medical history and avoidance of consanguineous relationships. These are concerns I have as a donor conceived person born in the nineties. I hope that no future donor conceived persons will ever have to worry about this in the future.
I would like to thank Anastasia for allowing me to share her story here today. I have heard so many stories like Anastasia’s, all from the ACT and all of which deeply impacted me. They made it clear in my mind that we have so much work to do, and it needs to happen promptly to protect people who are born today from this same pain. Again, I am very glad to see the response, the ministerial statement and report that was delivered today by the minister.
I would like to again thank Donor Conceived Australia, as well as the many donor conceived people and parents and donor recipients who spoke to Minister Stephen-Smith and myself. I am excited to take these next steps with the minister and stakeholders to create some excellent outcomes for the ACT community. Thank you.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.46): I rise again to table the ACT government response to the—no, that is the wrong speech. I do not rise to do that, because I have already made the other