Victorians can now access donor records

1 March 2017

Written by: Samantha Camilleri

A new change in the law will allow Victorians to find out the identity of their sperm or egg donor.

From 1 March, Victorians will be able to access information about their biological father or mother, even without consent.

The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment bill 2015 will allow all donor-conceived to learn the identity of the donor, even if the donation was made anonymously.

Prior to today, those born before 1998 needed consent to obtain information about the name, date of birth, heritage and medical history of the donor.

The new law was passed on the basis of inequality and the importance for all Victorians to have access to their biological parents’ history.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said that the new laws enabled Victorians  to discover their biological background.

“We believe all donor-conceived people should have the right to know about their genetic heritage, no matter when their donors donated,” she said.

Melbourne woman, Hayley Smith, told The Age that the new law gave her a better sense of self.

“It gives me a piece of my identity that I was being denied,” she said.Although donors can no longer be kept anonymous, they can still state that they do not wish to be contacted.

A spokeswoman for the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority told the Herald Sun that donor-conceived offspring needed to respect this.

“It would be required to give an undertaking to respect any no-contact preference,” she said.

Those that try to contact their donors without their permission can face up to fines of up to $9000.