New law gives all donor-conceived Victorians the right to know their heritage

Amendments to the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 were passed on 23 February 2016 in the Victorian Parliament. The key elements of this legislation included:

  • All Victorian donor-conceived people, regardless of when they were born, will have a right to identifying information about their donor, without having to receive consent from their donor. This will mean that donor-conceived people born before 1998 will have the same rights as those born after 1998.
  • Contact preferences will be made available to donors and donor-conceived people, allowing them to determine the way in which contact with those with whom they are linked will occur. People will also have the option to choose a 'no contact' preference. If a contact preference is breached, a significant penalty may apply. Contact preferences will also be extended to those legal children of donors or donor-conceived people who are under the age of 18 years.
  • Responsibility for managing the central and voluntary registers will be moved to VARTA. The amendments will also enable VARTA to be the 'one door in' provider of support and information to donors, donor-conceived people and their families, as per recommendations made by the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee.

The legislation will be implemented from 1 March 2017. More information about the amendments can be found in the Minister for Health and Human Service's media release.

People who have questions or concerns about the legislative changes should call VARTA on 03 8601 5250 for a confidential discussion.