Saturday, July 01, 2006

As of Today 7/1/06, DI Kids Can Trace Their Sperm Donors in Victoria Australia

Excerpted from article by:
Fran Metcalf
published 01Jul2006 in the Herald Sun

"From today, laws allow all donor-conceived children born in Victoria on or after July 1, 1988 to initiate contact with their biological parent once they turn 18 years.

Likewise, the donor father can apply for information on any or all adult children conceived from his sperm.

They first apply to the Melbourne-based Infertility Treatment Authority, created as a regulatory body and storage house, which has kept records on the 3315 assisted births from 1057 donors in Victoria since 1988.

Under the Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act 1984, which took effect from 1988, both parties in an assisted conception have the right to refuse approaches for information about themselves.

But donor-assisted children born after 1995 will not need consent from their biological father to find out his name, address and other identifying information once they reach adulthood.

Rel of T5s Daughter is quoted in the article as a DI Conceived individual who has wanted to know more about her donor from the time she 15 and learned of her conception story. It was not stated but I am assuming Rel will be applying for info on T5 as a result of the law now allowing it unless I misunderstood her being covered by this change.

There will come a time that donor anonymity will end here in the USA and tow events will happen: (1) individuals will have a mechanism I expect such as that in Victoria to apply for info about their donors and (2) we will see a change in the quantity and availabilty of sperm donors as is being felt in the United Kingdom.

For the donor conceived it will be another milestone. For the families trying to have children it will drastically reduce the number of conceptions via DI and add to the pain of infertility. I hear that pain in the words of my friend Richard in the UK and it hurts as I can't imagine being in that position. My children are precious to me and knowing who they are now I would fight to create them but I am torn by the obvious pain that Rel and others feel.

If the laws changed here in the USA (overriding the contractual arrangement I signed with the cryobank) and a program allowed my children to initiate contact with the donor how would I feel? I have stated that such contact is their right and I hold to that belief. I will not lie that watching the subsequent events unfold could be hard for me but I expect that the kids will go out of their way to make me comfortable and to reassure me that I am their only dad despite the truth of biology.


biodad said...

No, Eric, as you suspect Rel is not covered by this legislation which only affects people born since July 1, 1988.
In fact, one of our ongoing campaigns here in Victoria is to gain retrospective access to such information for adults in Rel's situation.
This would bring the IT legislation in line with the Adoption laws which were enacted also in the 1980s and gave adoptees the right to trace their biological parent no matter what the date at which they were relinquished.
The major task is making the legislators understand that there is a major discrepancy between these two arguably similar situations; at least from the donor-conceived person's perspective and possibly from the donor's perspective as well,I being one of them. Why? Because I am a relinquishing parent too.

biodad said...

Errata: What I meant was: "there is a major discrepancy between the legislations covering these two arguably similar situations"

Rel said...

I wish it applied to me, but unfortunately it doesn't go back that far. You would have heard about it before now if it covered me ;)

As Michael said, retrospective access is the way to go... and it is possible.