The purpose of the session is to assist you to:
- explore the implications of making an application to the donor conception registers for you and those close to you
- think about the implications for the person you would like information about and those they are close to.
Appointments to have information and support sessions are usually made once you have submitted a formal application to the donor conception registers to VARTA. There is no charge for the appointment.
Graham and Kelly’s story of donor linking and advice to others
During the session you may wish to complete a Statement of reasons. This process gives you an opportunity to outline, in your own words, your hopes and aspirations associated with your application.
The Statement of reasons
It will include a short description of your motivations for applying and what you would like to happen in the short and long term written in your own words. Your form is then forwarded to the other party. The Statement of reasons is likely to help the contacted party understand why you are seeking information and/or contact.
Writing your Statement of reasons
During the session
In the session you will discuss:
- what has led you to make an application
- what you hope to achieve by applying
- the implications for all parties in relation to making contact including relatives, partners etc
- the emotions you may experience
- the importance of establishing realistic boundaries to ensure contact is more likely to be positive
- potential difficulties you may experience (e.g. if records are incomplete or the other party cannot be located).
VARTA counsellors have considerable experience connecting people linked by donor conception treatment. You can be assured they will maintain your privacy and be respectful of your opinions and choices.
This is not an assessment, unless a person is younger than 18 years; in which case a VARTA counsellor is then required to assess the maturity of the applicant.
How long is an information and support session?
There is no set time for an information and support session. It usually lasts an hour although it may take longer. Some people may wish to complete the Statement of reasons in the session; others prefer to take it home. Every attempt is made to help you to feel comfortable while you are undergoing this process. People have reported feeling excited or daunted by this process; for many it is a combination of both. It is best to give yourself plenty of time on the day of your appointment to ensure you do not feel rushed or flustered.
Where are the sessions held?
Usually the information and support sessions are held during office hours at the VARTA Office, Level 30, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne. However, if there is a pressing reason why you cannot come to the office, please inform VARTA staff on +61 (03) 8601 5250. It may be possible have the session via Skype or telephone, although a face-to-face appointment is preferable.
What is an information and support session?