Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 877 ..
information about the donor and being able to link with biological siblings. Historically, donors of gametes, including eggs and sperm, were anonymous. However it is now recognised that this is unethical and has a significant lifelong impact on donor-conceived people and their families. Anonymous donation is no longer a reality, as a result of the advent of low-cost DNA testing through sites like Ancestry and 23andMe which match biological relatives with one another, although there may be legal implications in donor-conceived people accessing information about their donor through these means. A range of other informal online platforms may be used by donor-conceived children or their parents to connect with biological relatives, often using the de-identified donor code, including online Facebook groups like Donor Children Australia and through international websites like the Donor Sibling Registry, or DSR.
These matching platforms should not have to be the primary source of information about where people came from. A regulated framework is required to make it easy to get identifying information about donors, as well as those voluntarily wishing to contact other children born as a result of the same donor.
Government registers have been established in New South Wales and Victoria, under legislation, to ensure that donor information and offspring from the donor are recorded in a central database. Appropriate information sharing can then be established. For example, under the Victorian VARTA legislation a register is established so that donors can apply for information about their donor offspring.
Donor-conceived people and their descendants are entitled to receive identifying information, such as the name, date of birth and donor code, of the donor, and they can apply for that information when they reach 18 years, or a younger age on the basis they have been counselled. Parents can also apply at any time after the birth of their child for information about their child’s donor. They can also apply for non-identifying information about their child’s donor siblings if they wish to connect.
In addition to the central register in Victoria, a government-run voluntary register exists. This is a free matching service for people linked through donor conception treatment in Victoria looking to connect. Two or more people need to apply for there to be a match, and this includes donors, donor-conceived adults and donor siblings, parents, partners, family members and descendants.
In New South Wales the ART Act established a central register to support information about donor-conceived people, donors of gametes, parents and siblings of children who are donor conceived and those born through surrogacy arrangements to give donors and donor offspring greater opportunity to access information about each other. That includes where conception occurred after 1 January 2010. Mandatory information is also required in relation to all births resulting from ART treatment where conception occurred after 1 January 2010. Where it occurred before that date, a central register includes voluntary information about children who are born as a result of ART treatment.
In the ACT a number of clinics provide donor gametes as part of ART procedures. All allow for known donors, some have local or national sperm donor programs and a