New Donor Conception Laws Pass Parliament

SA Gov

All donor-conceived South Australians will soon be able to access available information about their genetic heritage and relatives, with new donor conception laws introduced by the Malinauskas Labor Government successfully passing State Parliament.

Changes to the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 will allow donor-conceived people aged 18 years and over to access information about the donor and genetic siblings.

This includes those who made donations under the condition of anonymity before September 2004.

This information will also be made available to the parents of donor-conceived children under 18 years of age and donors will have access to information about people born as a result of their donation, where consent has been provided.

The new legislation, which was developed following community consultation, will also allow the use of a deceased woman’s eggs or embryos in circumstances where the woman provides consent prior to her death, which is currently allowed for male sperm.

The South Australian Donor Conception Register was established in November 2021, with an electronic register to store available and verifiable donor conception information relating to donor-conceived people, donors and recipient parents, which will soon become accessible.

The register will allow donor-conceived people aged 18 years and over, or parents to a donor-conceived child and donors to list their contact preferences and will support important medical and genetic information to be shared between relatives.

The changes will also require birth certificates going forward to state that a child is donor-conceived and provide the option of including further donor information.

To support those involved in donations made under the condition of anonymity before September 2004, a government-funded intermediary support and counselling service will be available to these donors and their families as well as those immediately affected.

Regulations outlining the full details of the new legislation will now be drafted and consulted on. The electronic register will be expanded and subjected to a rigorous testing regime. It’s expected that participants will be able to access the service from early next year.

As put by Chris Picton

All donor-conceived people should have the right to know about their genetic heritage and family and these new laws will allow that.

Many of us take for granted such information which plays a significant role in the development of a person’s identity and self-esteem. It also enables people to access important medical and genetic information for things like family planning.

The operation of this register will provide a regulated and supported space for connections to be made and will put us in line with other states including New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.

As put by SA Best MLC Connie Bonaros

I’ve long been fighting for the rights of donor-conceived people to access important information about their genetic history and I’m so pleased that the parliament has supported this legislation.

The passing of these new laws is a testament to the tireless efforts of advocates and allies who have fought for the rights of donor-conceived individuals. I am grateful to have been a part of this movement, working towards a future where every person can reclaim their identity and heritage.

Every individual has the right to know their story and claim their identity. I applaud my parliamentary colleagues for extending this basic right to donor-conceived South Australians.

This landmark legislation will offer a path toward healing and understanding for donor-conceived individuals and their families. It is an historic day for all those who have long sought answers to their origins.

As put by Member for Light Tony Piccolo MP

I’ve been a strong advocate to enhance the rights of donor-conceived South Australians to information that they are entitled to.

We all deserve to know where we’ve come from and our genetic history.

These new laws will provide greater equality for donor-conceived people to access important information including about their health.

As put by Donor Conceived Australia National Director Aimee Shackleton

Donor Conceived Australia is thrilled to see that the South Australian Government listened to donor-conceived people, donors, and recipient parents, by implementing a register that enables donor-conceived people and donors to access and share information including health information, regardless of when they were conceived.

It will also enable genetic family to connect should this be something both parties wish to pursue.

As put by SA donor-conceived reference group representatives Damian Adams, Katherine Dawson and Reece Trevenen

We are so happy to see that donor-conceived people in South Australia now share the same rights to information regarding their family history as every other South Australian citizen including adoptees who had also been previously deprived of information.

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