10 May 2013

Melbourne IVF statement on potential changes to sperm donor laws

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Melbourne IVF

Melbourne IVF statement regarding story that aired on Channel 10s The Project Thursday 9th May 2013: “The issue of sperm donor’s privacy”

Last night a story aired on the Channel 10 program, The Project, with regards to whether identifying information should be provided to donor conceived children about their biological fathers, who donated sperm prior to 1988 under previous legislation that protected their identity. 

Melbourne IVF was quoted in relation to this story stating many of these men donated in good faith and on the condition of anonymity, and that we strongly oppose the introduction of retrospective legislation that would allow these men to be identified. 

It is important to note that whilst Melbourne IVF strongly disagrees with the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s recommendation that Victoria’s laws should be changed to allow donor-conceived people to obtain identifying information about their donor without the donor’s consent, Melbourne IVF does believe that identifying information about donors can and should be provided to donor conceived children, with the consent of the donor.

The Melbourne IVF submission to the Victorian Senate enquiry and the Fertility Society of Australia submission to the Victorian and New South Wales enquiries outlined our position, which states that we support a retrospective change to the legislation if the donors are given the opportunity to consent to the information being provided and the type of information provided, rather than their identifying information automatically being given out unless they put in a contact veto.

Melbourne IVF enthusiastically supports the facilitation of contact between donor-conceived individuals from our program and their donors if and when requested. Where an individual conceived through sperm donated anonymously prior to 1988 contacts Melbourne IVF, we will do everything within our power to put them in contact with their donor whilst respecting the donor’s privacy and wishes regarding contact.

Allowing donor conceived offspring access to information and/or contact as well as allowing donors to have a say about if or how this occurs, is a balanced way of meeting donors and donor-conceived offsprings’ needs. Melbourne IVF already practices this with pre 1988 donors and the vast majority of our donors have agreed to contact in some form.

For further information about this topic, please contact Marianne Tome, Counsellor Manager on 03 9473 4444.

Read more about the Melbourne IVF sperm donor programme here.

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