DNA tests to establish a relationship or find relatives online are becoming more popular. In Australia, there are two types of DNA tests that donors and donor-conceived people can access:
NATA (National Association of Testing authorities, Australia)-accredited DNA tests, which are often used to establish proof of a relationship between two people, such as paternity.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) DNA tests, which are also known as genealogical DNA tests or ancestry DNA tests. These tests involve a user providing a sample for analysis. Their profile can then be uploaded to a database to generate matches with other users.
If you are a donor-conceived person wanting to know more about your donor and other potential relatives, or a donor who would like to find out about potential offspring, you can contact VARTA first to see if we can link you through our Central Registry and Voluntary Registry. If you suspect you are donor-conceived following a DNA test by you or somebody else, you can read more here.
Parents of donor conceived people can also contact VARTA for help. VARTA can reduce the work involved with such a search and we can approach people in a sensitive and discreet way.
If you were a donor interstate, or conceived as a result of a donor treatment procedure interstate, read more about appropriate bodies that may be able to help you find out more information.
Why are people doing DNA tests?
DNA tests are becoming popular for people curious about their heritage worldwide, and many donor-conceived people are using them if there are no clinical records about their donor. See Rose’s story about how she found her donor through DTC DNA testing.