When an application is made to the Central Register from a:
the person they wish to connect with (termed the subject of the application – e.g. a donor who donated before 1998 or the donor-conceived person) is entitled to express their wishes about being contacted. They can do so by lodging a contact preference with VARTA. Contact preferences create legal obligations on the applicant.
If the subject has lodged a contact preference, the applicant must sign an undertaking that they will not knowingly contravene the contact preference.
It is important to note that while the contact preference does not prevent identifying information about the donor being released to a donor-conceived person, it is an offence for the applicant to ignore the donor’s wishes about how or whether they are contacted.
The contact preference may include:
- being contacted in a specified way by the applicant such as email, phone or letter
- utilising the services of VARTA as a third party to exchange information
- not being contacted by the applicant. If ‘no contact’ is specified, contact details will not be provided to the applicant.
If the donor has children younger than 18 years, they can also express wishes in relation to contact with their children.
A copy of any contact preference will be provided to the applicant and will last for a period of five years. This contact preference may be amended or withdrawn at any time during that five-year period (unless there has already been contact between the parties).
VARTA has responsibility to communicate with the subject of an application who has lodged a contact preference before the five years expire. The donor may extend that contact preference should they wish.