This brochure provides an overview of the most common techniques involved with assisted reproductive technology (ART), including IVF, artificial insemination, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This brochure is also available in Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese traditional and simplified.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia are investigating the reasons why people choose to tell or not tell members of their family and wider social network about their involvement in donor conception and are seeking participants in their study.
Who can participate?
Anyone who has participated in any type of donor conception programme (current or past):
People who have embryos in storage for use in assisted reproductive treatment often find it difficult to decide what to do with the embryos when they are no longer receiving treatment. The ‘What to do with your unused embryos?’ brochure outlines the available options.
This is an interactive decision tool for what to do with unused embryos to assist with decision-making for people who are having difficulty making their mind up. Decision tools are commonly used in other areas of health care to help patients resolve difficult choices around possible treatment options. Decision tools have not been used previously to assist with decision-making regarding unused embryos.
In 1979, when Aaron* answered a call for volunteer research participants at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital, he was surprised to find himself signing up to a sperm donation program. Now, more than 35 years later, Aaron has connected with two of his donor offspring and is seeking contact with others.
Twenty years after donating sperm at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Melbourne, Carl* learnt that he had two donor daughters.
The news came as a surprise. Years earlier Carl had been informed that no children had been born from his donation. But the revised information, delivered in 2006, revealed that two girls were born in the late 1980s at another clinic, which had used sperm donated at the Queen Victoria.
Wendy Kramer is Director of the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). The DSR is a US charity organisation, founded in 2000 by Wendy and her donor-conceived son Ryan, to assist individuals conceived as a result of sperm egg or embryo donation that are seeking to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties. Wendy speaks about the research undertaken by her organisation and the experiences of those people who have linked via DSR.
The ‘Donor conception: towards openness’ exhibition, which is currently showing at the City Library Gallery, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, is more than worth a visit.
The exhibition offers a moving collection of art, photography and archival material that inspires a range of emotional responses. Striking photographs are accompanied by summaries of the person or people pictured; many of the summaries are poignant, some are joyful, all are touching.
A review of the literature
This document presents what the research literature tells us about disclosure pattersn around the world, the reasons for telling children about the way they were conceived, the best age to tell, and strategies and pratcial tips for having this conversation with donor-conceived children.
A world-first exhibition exploring donor conception through art, photography and archival material will be open to the public from Friday, June 5 at Melbourne’s City Library Gallery.
The 'Donor conception: towards openness' exhibition, dedicated to the memory of Narelle Grech who campaigned for the right to have information about her biological heritage, is an initiative of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA).