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.
Dr Deborah Dempsey, Associate Professor in Sociology, Swinburne University of Technology speaks on the topic, 'Why do people apply to the donor conception registers?' at the Twilight Seminar, 'Experiences of donor linking: Research and personal perspectives' hosted by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) on 9 July 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.
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).
Advise for donor-conceived people, recipient parents and donors needing to write a Statement of reasons to access identifying information through the Donor Conception Register Services.
This information sheet covers:
- What should I say in my Statement of reasons?
Your introductory letter or email is often the first form of contact you have with someone to whom you are connected by donation. This information sheet provides advice on what to say, tips and tricks for a positive outcome, and where to go from here.
- New research reveals that having children in the future is equally important to male and female university students, but they have poor understanding of when fertility declines
- The study highlights the challenges for young people, particularly university-educated women, in balancing study, career and other life goals with parenthood
Most students underestimate how much age affects the chance of having a baby, according to new research published today.