New Law Gives All Donor-Conceived Victorians The Right To Know Their Heritage
Yesterday evening on the 23rd of February 2016 the ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TREATMENT AMENDMENT BILL 2015 (Narelle’s Law) passed in the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament.
It is with great relief that we welcome the safe passage of this bill and its recognition that all Victorians regardless of their mode or date of conception should have the ability to access critical information concerning the identity of their biological parents. This legislation is a timely reminder that in matters of assisted reproductive technology (and in particular third party reproduction) the interests of the child born or to be born must be given paramount consideration. And that where that consideration is not given states must act to rectify or restore the rights that may have been affected as a result.
We congratulate the Victorian parliament and the Andrews government for its leadership on this very complex issue. This law will affect the lives of many, some of whom may be anxious about what the changes will mean for them. With time and the improved support services afforded by the reform we can hope to see that the long held fears and misconceptions regarding access to information by donor conceived people and donors can be dispelled. This legislation sets a precedent and model for other jurisdictions to follow and we hope they do so swiftly.
In particular we would like to acknowledge the indefatigable support of the following past and present members of parliament, some over many years and numerous governments:
The Hon Jane Garrett MP and Anthony Carbines MP
The Hon Jill Hennessy MP
The Hon Premier Daniel Andrews
The Hon Gavin Jennings MP
Sue Pennecuik MP
Mr Clem Newton-Brown
Mr Ted Baillieu
Russell Northe MP
Ms Donna Petrovich
The Hon Jenny Mikakos MP
The Hon Robert Clark MP
The Hon Bruce Atkinson MP
Colin Brooks MP
The Hon James Merlino MP
Bernie Finn MP
Fiona Patten MP
Melina Bath MP
Ms Christine Campbell
Lizzie Blandthorn MP
Murray Thompson MP
To all the members of parliament who voted in support of this bill, thank you.
We would also like to thank the following for their valuable work and contributions to this issue:
Dr Sonia Allan, Noni Sproule, Amie Gordon, Vaughn Koops, Alice Bailey, Christina Dickinson, Helen Ross-Soden, Anne Black, VANISH, TangledWebs, VARTA, the DCSG, the wider donor conception and adoption communities.
The legal, academic communities and human rights organisations for their support and submissions.
And also our supporters within the media for their sensitive coverage of a complicated topic.
And last but not least to the donor conceived people, donors and their families who have steadfastly fought for so long for this legislation. Thank you.
And to our dear friend Narelle Grech, may you rest peacefully.