Helen* was conceived using donor sperm. Her sperm donor died before she was able to contact him, but she has since connected with her donor’s son and with other donor-siblings through the Voluntary Register.
When did you find out that you were donor-conceived? How was that experience?
More than 160 people attended the 2018 Louis Waller Lecture, ‘Looking back: the early days of donor conception in Victoria’, making it VARTA’s largest Louis Waller Lecture to date.
The evening, launched by the Victorian Minister for Health the Hon Jill Hennessy MP by video, and compèred by VARTA Chairperson Kirsten Mander, was particularly special because the keynote speech was delivered by Emeritus Professor Waller himself.
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.
VARTA has submitted two nominations to the Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Awards to acknowledge the significant contribution made by a number of donor-conceived people and donors who have given countless hours to help promote public understanding of donor conception.
VARTA is delighted that one of its nominations for the Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Awards was announced a winner at the award’s ceremony on 18 May. The award for ‘Outstanding achievement by a volunteer: innovation award’ was presented to the volunteer committee who put together the Donor conception: towards openness exhibition in June 2015.
Barbara and Lauren (mother and daughter) tell their story of donor conception.
Barbara, after nearly quarter of a century of keeping the secret of her daughters' conceptions, tells them they are donor conceived.
Lauren, who was 21 when she was told of her conception, tells us her experience of being on the receiving end of this news.