VARTA's 2019 twilight seminar explored the rise of direct-to-consumer DNA testing and how more people are finding out they are not genetically related to family members in the way they always thought.
The sold out event held on 17 June, examined how DNA testing is also being used together with genealogy and internet searches to trace donors and donor siblings. As this becomes more affordable, more people are accessing it, increasing the chance of connections and these trends have major implications for donor-conceived people, their parents and donors
Kate Bourne, Donor Registers Service Manager at VARTA and guest speaker Profesor David Amor, a leading Melbourne Geneticist, set the scene about the rise in DNA testing and it's impact on donor linking. View the presentation slides here.
Rose Overberg, a donor-conceived woman shared her experience of locating her donor via DNA testing and how she assists others to find genetic relatives.
Hayley Smith, a donor-conceived woman shared how she worked out who her donor was from DNA detective work but chose to apply to the Central Register so outreach could be managed by VARTA.
Professor Daniel Roos, shared his experience as sperm donor who was contacted by his donor offspring as a result of DNA detective work.
Thank you to all the speakers for sharing your insights and experiences and thanks to Russell Kennedy for use of their event space.