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Research Note - Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015

Executive summary

According to the Law Reform Committee's 2012 report, Victoria was the first Australian state, and the first jurisdiction in the world, to enact legislation regulating assisted reproductive treatment.[footnote 1] Victoria has had three legislative frameworks that apply to donors and donor-conceived people based on the date at which the donor treatment procedure was carried out using donated gametes. The Bill also provides for contact preferences to be lodged by donors and donor-conceived people.

The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015 extends the right to access identifying information for donor-conceived people regardless of when they were conceived.[footnote 2] This follows a recommendation made by the Law Reform Committee's 2012 report.[footnote 3] The Minister for Health, the Hon. Jill Hennessy stated that the purpose of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015 'is to provide all donor-conceived persons with the right to obtain identifying information about their donors from the central register, regardless of when the gametes from which they were conceived were donated and whether the donor consents'.[footnote 4]

This Research Note sets out the development of assisted reproductive technology (ART) legislation in Victoria through a brief timeline focusing on changes to access to information. This Research Note includes a discussion of donor conception legislation in other jurisdictions, stakeholder comment and submissions to the Law Reform Committee's 2012 report, key resources and media articles.

Timeline

1984Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act 1984 was passed and came into effect in 1988. The Act established a central register to record donor-conceived births and donors from 1988 onwards.[footnote 5] Prior to this legislation, the numbers of donors and donor-conceived people were uncertain and inconsistent as there was no record keeping requirements and some ART procedures were undertaken by doctors in private practice.[footnote 6]

1995Infertility Treatment Act 1995 was passed and came into effect on 1 January 1998. The Law Reform Committee's 2012 report states that this Act 'provided more comprehensive requirements in relation to counselling, availability of information for donors and donor conceived people… requirements in relation to donor registers… [footnote and] enables donor conceived people, conceived after 1 January 1998, when they reach 18 years of age, to access information about their donor, subject to counselling requirements'.[footnote 7]

2008Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 was passed. This Act followed the Victorian Law Reform Commission's report,[footnote 8] amending ART and surrogacy laws, including removing the statutory requirement that women be married or in a de facto relationship with a male to access ART treatment in Victoria. The Act also established the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) and provided for the keeping of the Central Register and the Voluntary Register by BDM. This Act came into effect on 1 January 2010.

March 2012 – the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donorswas tabled.[footnote 9] The Inquiry received around 80 submissions and made 30 unanimous recommendations.[footnote 10] The then Government supported the proposal in principle but stated the intention to introduce legislation extending the 1988-1997 legislative arrangements to all donor-conceived people conceived using gametes donated prior to 1988. Those legislative arrangements, prior to the 2014 amendments, were that identifying information be given with the consent of donors.[footnote 11] The Government Response stated:

Under the Government's proposal information will only be given to donor-conceived individuals seeking it, in the case of non-identifying information if this available from the records, and in the case of identifying information where the donor consents to its release.[footnote 12]

May 2013Donor consultation report released (VARTA in collaboration with Monash University).[footnote 13] The report contains 'extended quotations' from donors who agreed and disagreed with access to identifying information. The report stated in the conclusion:

Donors who disagree claimed not only that their lives would be disrupted and even damaged but that confidence would be undermined in any current legal protection should legislation enable the overturning of past assurances of confidentiality and privacy.[footnote 14]

September 2014 – the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Further Amendment Act 2014, which made changes to the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008, received Royal Assent.[footnote 15]The amendments made non-identifying information available to recipient parents and donor-conceived people, wherever such information exists (either from the treating clinic or the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM)).

June 2015 – amendments made by the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Further Amendment Act 2014came into effect, bringing the rights of donor-conceived people born before 1988 in line with those born between 1988-1998.

November 2015 – the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015 was introduced and second read. The Bill followed the discussion paper produced by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services titledA Right to Know about your Identity and published in June 2015.[footnote 16] The Bill extends the access to information for those people who were donor-conceived before 1988.

Donor-conception framework in Victoria

The number of donors and donor-conceived people is unknown due to the three different record-keeping and ART legislative regimes applicable, dependent on the time of donor-conception. Information on donor-conceptions prior to 1988 is incomplete. From 1988-1998, there were 2712 children conceived with donations from sperm, eggs and embryos recorded (2402 from sperm donation) and 586 donors (236 egg donors and 350 sperm donors) recorded.[footnote 17] From 1998-2011, there were 2787 birth registrations recorded (1453 from sperm donation and 1146 from egg donations) and 1299 donors (848 egg donors and 451 sperm donors) recorded.[footnote 18] The Senate Inquiry noted that the estimated number of donor-conceived people 'would be about 20,000' in Australia; however the Inquiry stated that some estimates 'are in excess of 60,000'.[footnote 19]

To understand the changes, the following table, adapted from the VARTA website, shows the framework that existed for gametes donated by date prior to the recent changes which came into effect in June 2015 through the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Further Amendment Act 2014. As noted above, these changes increased access to information for people who were donor-conceived between 1988-1998 so that their access rights are in line with the current access to information that has applied since 1998.

Table 1: Victorian legislative changes in donor-conception – pre-1988 to May 2015

Before 1988

Before 1 July 1988, anonymity was a requirement of the donation process.

Between 1988 and 1998

· Non-identifying information was made automatically available to recipient parents and donor conceived people.

· Donor conceived people (and their parents) have the right to access identifying information about their donor, with the donor's consent.

· Donors have the right to access information about their donor offspring, with the consent of the donor offspring.

Since 1998

Once a person born from donation turns 18 years (or younger if a counsellor considers them sufficiently mature) they can obtain identifying information (e.g. name, address) about their donor by applying to the Central Register. The donor consented to this release of information at the time of donation.

Non-identifying information about the donor is kept by the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) and by the clinic. These include:

• physical characteristics, including height, eye colour and blood group

• social information, such as ethnic background, and medical history.

Parents, the donor and the donor-conceived person are all able to access non-identifying information about each other whenever they wish, via their clinic or BDM.

The donor is able to receive non-identifying information about children who were born as a result of the donation (i.e. the number, gender and the month and year of birth) and recipient parent/s who have used the donation.

Non-identifying information can be sought from the clinic, or by submitting an application for information to BDM.

The donor also has the right to request identifying information about the recipient parent/s and the people who were born as a result of the donation:

• if the child is younger than 18, the parents must consent

• if the donor-conceived person born is 18 or older, they must consent.

Source: adapted from the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority website.[footnote 20]

Other Jurisdictions

There are four states that regulate donor conception through specific legislation in Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia. States and territories without ART legislation rely on the Ethical Guidelines and other Codes of Practices. As noted in the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs report, Donor Conception Practices in Australia, there is significant differences in approaches taken to donor conception practices, record keeping and the provision of information throughout Australia.[footnote 21]

National ethical guidelines

National guidelines were introduced by the Australian Government's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 2005, and revised in 2007. These guidelines provide an ethical framework which must be adhered to in addition to all relevant legislation and professional and accreditation standards.[footnote 22] The guidelines specified a 'minimum level of information that should be accessible to participants in a donated gamete treatment program'.[footnote 23] Of particular relevance to the Bill, the following sections in the Guidelines set out guidelines for access to information:

Table 2: National Guidelines: Entitlement to Information (abridged version)

6.10 Provide gamete recipients with relevant medical history of gamete donor

Gamete recipients need … at least the following information about gamete donors:

• details of past medical history, family history and any genetic test results that are relevant to the future health of the person born (or any subsequent offspring of that person) and the recipient of the donation;

• details of the physical characteristics of the gamete donor; and

• the number and sex of persons conceived using the gametes donated by the same gamete donor.

6.11 Provide donor-conceived persons with information about their gamete donor

People conceived using donated gametes are entitled to know their genetic parents…

6.12 Provide gamete donors with relevant information about their genetic offspring

Gamete donors are entitled to some information about the recipients of their gametes and the offspring born (in particular, to prepare them for future approaches by their genetic offspring). Clinics may provide gamete donors, on request, with nonidentifying information about gamete recipients, including the number and sex of persons born.

6.13 Respect the privacy of all persons involved in ART procedures

People have a right to privacy. Clinics must not release identifying information to another person without the consent of the person to be identified.

6.13.1 When approached by a person who was conceived using donated gametes and who now seeks identifying information about his or her genetic parents, the clinic should examine the consent form of the gamete donor and proceed as follows:

• If the consent form does not include permission for release of identifying information …, the clinic should make an appropriate effort, consistent with the original consent document and the privacy rights of the donor, to contact the gamete donor and obtain his or her consent ...

• If the consent form includes permission for release of identifying information, the clinic may notify the donor and release the information to the person requesting the information.

Source: adapted from Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (2007) Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, June.

New South Wales

In 2013, the Parliamentary Committee on Law and Safety tabled their report, Managing Donor Conception Information.[footnote 24] This report examines issues of relevance to Victoria's proposed legislation with Chapter Four discussing 'retrospective access' to information in other international jurisdictions (Switzerland, United Kingdom and the Netherlands).[footnote 25] The report examines the place of contact vetoes in information management, which are issues that have recently been discussed in the context of the Victorian Adoption Amendment Bill 2015 which passed in August 2015.

Chapter Four includes perspectives of donors and canvasses the arguments for and against retrospective access, with reference to the rights of the child, doubts about the validity of clinic contracts, psychological issues, health and consanguinity, doctor-patient relationships, the 'guarantees of anonymity', and the circumstances of the donation.

The legislative framework for ART in NSW is governed by the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2007, which commenced in 2010.[footnote 26] Since 1 January 2010, the ART Provider must collect mandatory information about the donor to be included on the Central Register. Donors can no longer donate gametes anonymously. A donor-conceived child can apply for identifying information if they are over the age of 18 (therefore the earliest this can occur is 2028). The parents of a donor conceived child can obtain non-identifying information.

Donors who donated before 1 January 2010 are encouraged to register their details on the NSW Ministry of Health Central Register, however prior to 2010 there was no specific legal record keeping requirement. Donors may choose if or what information they want to provide on the voluntary register and that information can be removed if they change their mind. The Register does not operate retrospectively therefore donors' anonymity and privacy is secured.[footnote 27] Furthermore, the expressed consent of the donor of a person born after 1 January 2010 as a result of that donation must be obtained before any information which has been voluntarily provided can be released.

The NSW Ministry of Health website provides information for those who fit into different categories, including:

· ART Providers;

· Donor conceived person, conceived before 1 January 2010;

· Donor conceived persons, conceived after 1 January 2010;

· Donors of donor conceived persons before 1 January 2010;

· Donors of donor conceived persons after 1 January 2010;

· Parents of donor conceived persons before 1 January 2010;

· Parents of donor conceived persons after 1 January 2010.

Western Australia

Under the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991, which commenced in 1993, the Reproductive Technology Council is responsible for the regulation of assisted reproductive technology. As of 1 December 2004 donors must consent to the release of identifying information when donating.[footnote 28] Thus, all donor-conceived persons who reach the age of 16 on or after 1 December 2020 have a right to access non-identifying and identifying information about their donor (although identifying information may only be provided by the Department of Health once the donor-conceived person has undertaken the required counselling).[footnote 29]

Section 49 states the following with regard to confidentiality, including a provision related to retrospective changes:

49. Confidentiality

(1) A person shall not divulge, or communicate to any other person, any information disclosed or obtained by reason of this Act respecting the identity of —

(a) a donor of human gametes, a human egg undergoing fertilisation or a human embryo;

(b) a participant in any procedure involving reproductive technology; or

(c) a child born as a result of any artificial fertilisation procedure,

unless subsection (2) applies.

(2) Information to which subsection (1) applies may be divulged or communicated —

(d) subject to subsections (2a) to (2c), with the consent of each donor, participant or child in question or other person whose identity may be disclosed in so far as it does not identify any person who was a participant in the relevant procedure and who has not given such consent; …

(2d) Subject to subsection (2e), information to which subsection (1)(a) applies may be divulged or communicated to a child resulting from the donation who has reached 16 years of age and who has completed approved counselling.

(2e) Information cannot be divulged or communicated under subsection (2d) unless —

(a) the donation was made on or after the day on which the Human Reproductive Technology Amendment Act 2004 came into operation (the commencement day); or

(b) the donation was made before the commencement day and —

(i) was used with the effective consent of the donor given on or after the commencement day; or

(ii) the CEO is satisfied that the donor was, before the donation, adequately informed that future changes in legislation might enable the information to be divulged or communicated to the child without the donor's consent.

A Voluntary Register was also established so that persons conceived prior to 1 December 2004, and their donors, may register, and share non-identifying information (if they both register). If both parties match on the register, they may also apply to have identifying information released (after completing required counselling).[footnote 30]

South Australia

There is no central register but persons authorised and registered to provide ART are responsible for record keeping of donor information. Section 15 of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 (previously the Reproductive Technology (Clinical Practices) Act 1988) states that the Minister may keep a donor conception register but there is no requirement for the Minister to retain such records.[footnote 31]

The Minister must keep a record of persons authorised to provide assisted reproductive treatment under the Act (s 8). A person authorised and registered (under Part 2 of the Act) to provide ART must make records and keep documents in relation to the provision of ART, as required by the regulations (s 16). An ART authorised and registered person who fails to comply with these requirements is liable to a maximum penalty of $50,000 (s 16).

On confidentiality, section 18(1) the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988states:

(1) A person must not disclose the identity of a donor of human reproductive material except—

(aa) as required or authorised by or under this or any other Act; or

(a) in the administration of this Act; or

(b) in order to provide assisted reproductive treatment; or

(c) with the consent of the donor of the material.

Maximum penalty: $10 000 or imprisonment for 6 months.

However, clause 8(4) of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Regulations 2010 states that for the purpose of section 18 of the Act (above), the disclosure of identifying information about a donor is permitted where the donor consents or where required by a provision of the NHMRC Guidelines.

Stakeholders

The following stakeholder commentary relates mostly to submissions made to the 2012 Inquiry.[footnote 32] As already mentioned, there were around 80 submissions made from donors, donor-conceived persons and their parents, academics, religious groups, social justice groups, medical associations, IVF clinics, ethicists, and others. The main issues raised in the submissions were the right of donor-conceived persons to know their genetic heritage and the right of donors to privacy and anonymity.

Members may want to consult the following chapters in the Inquiry Report which canvass the views and issues surrounding access to information about donors:

• Chapter 3: Access by donor-conceived people to information about donors;

• Chapter 4: Donors' access to information;

• Chapter 5: Access to information about donor-conceived siblings.

Australian Medical Association (Victoria)

In a media release following the tabling of the Law Reform Committee's report, Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victorian President Dr Harry Hemley stated that the report's recommendations to retrospectively change the rights of donors 'may undermine the public trust in the [footnote ART] scheme', showing a blatant disregard for the agreement entered into by the donor.[footnote 33] In their submission to the Inquiry report, AMA (Victoria) supported a public awareness campaign and encouraging contact between the parties 'without unfairly infringing donors' rights'.[footnote 34]

Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA)

In their submission, VARTA supported giving all donor-conceived people the opportunity to request identifying and non-identifying information about their donors noting that:

The first guiding principle of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (Vic) provides that 'the welfare and interests of persons born or to be born as a result of treatment procedures are paramount'. In addition, the NHMRC ethical guidelines state that 'people conceived using donated gametes are entitled to know their genetic parents' and that they should at least have access to medical and family history, identifying information about the donor and the number and sex of other people born from the same donor, the number of families involved and any identifying information that these siblings have consented to being released.[footnote 35]

Melbourne IVF

Melbourne IVF stated that while they support the rights of the donor conceived individual to access information about their genetic background, these rights 'should never over-ride the donor's rights to privacy and control over the release of their personal information'.[footnote 36]

Monash IVF

In their submission to the Senate Inquiry, Monash IVF stated that the different frameworks applying in Victoria have created problems for families with 'donor conceived children who were born under different iterations of the legislation' whereby 'each child/person [footnote has] different sets of rights in terms of what information that person is entitled [footnote to] about their genetic origins'.[footnote 37]

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) drew attention to the interim report confirming that 'some gametes donated prior to 1988 are still being used in donor-conception procedures' which is a practice that may be inconsistent with paragraph 6.1 of the ART guidelines governing ART practice in Australia in which persons conceived using ART procedures are entitled to know their genetic parents.[footnote 38] NHMRC state that 'it would be unethical to continue to use gametes that were donated on the assumption of anonymity given that the exemption to such use in paragraph 6.1.5 of the ART guidelines are unlikely to apply'.[footnote 39]

Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner

In his submission, the Deputy Victorian Privacy Commissioner stated that 'the best option for balancing the rights of both donors and donor-conceived individuals is essentially similar to that recommended by the Victorian Law Reform Commission',[footnote 40] whereby donors are to be contacted and asked to consent to the release of information only upon request by a donor-conceived person.[footnote 41]

VANISH Inc.

VANISH Inc. stated in their submission that the legislation allowing some donor conceived children to know their biological origins based on when the gametes were donated is 'cruel and arbitrary':

The present legislation in Victoria, as it applies to the donor-conceived, is discriminatory and unjust.[footnote 42]

TangledWebs

Action group TangledWebs advocated for access to donor records for all donor-conceived children. In their submission to the Senate Inquiry, they stated that '[footnote t]he child cannot have his or her rights limited by an implied contract to which they were not a party'.[footnote 43] Their submission to the Victorian Inquiry includes several case studies of donor-conceived children and sperm donors.[footnote 44]

Donor Conception Support Group of Australia Inc.

Likewise, the Donor Conception Support Group of Australia recommended in their submission:

That the Victorian parliament should amend legislation to allow all donor conceived people, no matter when they were born, to have access to all non-identifying and identifying information on their donors that exists. Matching may need to be done by DNA testing if necessary.[footnote 45]

Public Interest Law Clearing House

The Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) argued for a human rights approach that struck a balance between donors and donor conceived individuals:

…on the one hand, the denial of access to donor identifying information may be inconsistent with particular provisions of the Charter including the freedom of expression (including freedom to seek and receive information of all kinds), the right to recognition and equality before the law, the protection of families and children, and cultural rights. On the other hand, the right of donors to privacy and reputation may be impinged upon if access to donor identifying information is too freely available.

PILCH submits that, at present, the balance is struck too far in favour of the rights of donors, resulting in inadequate protection of the rights of donor conceived… PILCH urges the Government to undertake legislative reform in this area to ensure donor conceived individuals can access donor information.[footnote 46]

Other submissions included the following by academics, non-government organisations, social justice groups, and religious groups:

· Rainbow Families Council, 6 August 2010

· Dr Sonia Allan, 18 July 2011

· Professor Agnes Bankier, 25 July 2011

· Professor Gab Kovacs, 3 August 2011

· Professor Eric Blyth, 8 August 2011

· Associate Professor Nicholas Tonti-Filippini, 9 August 2011

· Murdoch Children's Research Institute, 11 August 2011

· Professor David de Kretser, 11 August 2011

· Australian Christian Lobby, 12 August 2011

· Victorian Infertility Counsellors Group, 12 August 2011

· Reproductive Technology Council Western Australia, 12 August 2011

· Fertility Society of Australia, 12 August 2011

· Australian Family Association, 15 August 2011

· Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee, 16 August 2011

· Institute for Judaism and Civilization Inc, 19 August 2011

· Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, 1 September 2011

· Professor Ken Daniels, 9 September 2011

Media

Media coverage has been extensive in this area with both sides of the argument being expressed in media releases, opinion pieces, radio programs, and letters to the editor.

Media releases

· Changes to donor conceived laws / Victorian Government, media centre video, 25 November 2015

· New donor conception legislation tabled in Victorian Parliament / Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA), media release, 25 November 2015

· Protecting donors' rights / Australian Medical Association, media release, 29 March 2012

News articles

· Victorian Government considers world-first laws making it easier for donor-conceived people to identify sperm, egg donors / T. Nightingale, ABC News, 29 June 2015

· Vic to change privacy rules around sperm donations / T. Nightingale, ABC AM radio program, 29 June 2015.

· Sperm donors to lose anonymity / F. Tomazin, The Sunday Age, 22 November 2015

· Who's your daddy?/ M. Ambrose, Herald Sun, 26 September 2015

· Everyone has a right to know their heritage / Letters to the Editor, The Age, 7 September 2015

· Protections in place / Letter to the Editor, The Saturday Age, 5 September 2015

· Donor Unknown / M. Fyfe, The Saturday Age, 5 September 2015

· Heed painful lessons / Letter to the Editor, The Sunday Age, 30 August 2015

· Angry sperm donor fears 20 unwanted knocks on the door / J. Medew & C. Butt, The Age, 4 September 2015

· Your questions answered on donor conception and IVF / The Conversation, 11 August 2015

· Proposed law changes could allow sperm donor-conceived children to get info about dads / M. Ambrose, Herald Sun, 25 September 2015

· Lifting veil of secrecy a controversial issue / P. Kalina, The Age, 13 August 2015

· Promises were wrong / Letter to the Editor, The Sunday Age, 22 February 2015

· Victoria to alter sperm donor laws / F. Tomazin, The Sunday Age, 8 February 2015

· Shake-up of sperm-donor laws / F. Tomazin, The Sunday Age, 28 June 2015

· Donor dads and greater transparency / E. Elliott, Herald Sun, 13 August 2015

Legislative Resources:

§ Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015

o Explanatory Memorandum

o Second Reading

o Statement of Compatibility

§ Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008

§ Reading Pack: Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015

Reports and Journal Articles:

§ Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors / Law Reform Committee, Parliament of Victoria, March 2012, and Government Response (August 2013)

§ A Right to Know about your Identity / Victorian Department of Health & Human Services, June 2015

§ Consultation with donors who donated gametes in Victoria, Australia before 1998: Access by donor-conceived people to information about donors / VARTA in collaboration with Monash University, May 2013

§ Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research / Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), June 2007

§ Donor Conception Practices in Australia/ Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Parliament of Australia, February 2011

§ Assessing Donor Conception Information in Australia / C. Lorbach, Australian Journal of Adoption, vol. 7, no. 2 (2013) (this article examines access to donor information across Australia)

§ Donor conception legislation in Victoria, Australia: The "Time to Tell" campaign, donor-linking and implications for clinical practice / L. Johnson, K. Bourne & K. Hammarberg, vol. 19 (2012) Journal of Law and Medicine, pp. 803-819

§ Assisted Reproductive Technology and Adoption: Final Report/ Victorian Law Reform Commission, June 2007

o See also VLRC consultation papers, report summary, position papers

§ Managing Donor Conception Information / Committee on Law and Safety, Parliament of NSW (tabled October 2013)

Websites:

§ Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA)

§ Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help (VANISH)

§ Donor treatment registers and Central Register / Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

§ Changes to legislation - information for donors and information for donor-conceived people / Department of Health, Victorian Government

§ Victorian legislative changes in donor conception – pre-1988 to 2015 / VARTA website

 

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[footnote 1] Law Reform Committee (2012)Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, final report, Melbourne, Parliament of Victoria, March, p. xix.

[footnote 2] J. Hennessy, Minister for Heath, Statement of compatibility: Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015, Debates, Victoria, Legislative Assembly, 25 November 2015, p. 4972.

[footnote 3] Law Reform Committee (2012)Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, op. cit., p. xix.

[footnote 4] J. Hennessy, Minister for Heath, Statement of compatibility: Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment Bill 2015, Debates, Victoria, Legislative Assembly, 25 November 2015, p. 4972.

[footnote 5] Law Reform Committee (2012)Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, op. cit., p. 4.

[footnote 6] ibid., p. 12.

[footnote 7] ibid, p. 14.

[footnote 8] Victorian Law Reform Commission (2007) Assisted Reproductive Technology and Adoption: Final Report, June, Melbourne, VLRC (see also related publications, eg consultation papers, report summary, position papers).

[footnote 9] ibid.

[footnote 10] ibid.

[footnote 11] Victorian Government (2013) Government Response, August, to Law Reform Committee (2012)Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, op. cit.

[footnote 12] ibid.

[footnote 13] VARTA (in collaboration with Monash University) (2013) Consultation with donors who donated gametes in Victoria, Australia before 1998: Access by donor-conceived people to information about donors, May, Melbourne, VARTA.

[footnote 14] ibid, p. 33.

[footnote 15] See also: Assisted Reproductive Treatment Further Amendment Bill 2013; Explanatory Memorandum; Statement of Compatibility; and Second reading.

[footnote 16] Victorian Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) (2015)A Right to Know about your Identity, Melbourne, June, DHHS.

[footnote 17] ibid.

[footnote 18] ibid.

[footnote 19] Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (2011) Donor Conception Practices in Australia, Parliament of Australia, February, p. 3.

[footnote 20] VARTA (2015) 'Victorian legislative changes in donor conception – pre-1988 to 2015', VARTA website.

[footnote 21] Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (2011) Donor Conception Practices in Australia, Parliament of Australia, February, p. 7.

[footnote 22] Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (2007) Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, June.

[footnote 23] ibid, p. 25.

[footnote 24] Committee on Law and Safety (2013) Managing Donor Conception Information, October, Sydney, Parliament of NSW.

[footnote 25] ibid.

[footnote 26] See also: Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation 2009.

[footnote 27] NSW Ministry of Health (2014) 'Frequently asked questions', NSW Ministry of Health website, 10 February, Question 11.

[footnote 28] As a result of the Human Reproductive Technology Amendment Act 2004.

[footnote 29] See: Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991, s 49. If donors, parents and children consent (and undergo counselling), this information may also be accessed prior to the age of 16 (for persons conceived after 1 December 2004).

[footnote 30] See: Fact sheet 7: Access to information / Reproductive Technology Council, Western Australia.

[footnote 31] See non-compulsory language in Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988, Part 3.

[footnote 32] Law Reform Committee (2012)Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, op. cit.

[footnote 33] Australian Medical Association (2012) Protecting donors' rights, media release, 29 March.

[footnote 34] Australian Medical Association (2011) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.

[footnote 35] VARTA (2010) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee. See also: VARTA (2011) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee (supplementary submission).

[footnote 36] Melbourne IVF (2011) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.

[footnote 37] Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (2011) Donor Conception Practices in Australia, op. cit., pp. 20-21.

[footnote 38] NHMRC (2011) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.

[footnote 39] ibid.

[footnote 40] VLRC (2007) Assisted Reproductive Technology and Adoption: Final Report, op. cit.

[footnote 41] Referring to Recommendation 97: Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner (2011) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.

[footnote 42] VANISH Inc. (2010) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.

[footnote 43] Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (2011) Donor Conception Practices in Australia, op. cit., p. 46.

[footnote 44] TangledWebs Inc. (2011) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.

[footnote 45] Donor Conception Support Group of Australia (2010) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.

[footnote 46] Public Interest Law Clearing House (2010) Submission to the Law Reform Committee, Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors, August, Melbourne, The Committee.