Are You Donor Conceived | Publications
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Human Rights and the Law: The rights of donor-conceived people in the context of Australia’s existing human rights framework


Download – National conference for Donor Conceived People 27 June 2015


DNA Database Testing

What is it and How do I Interpret the Results?

by Damian Adams

1st National Donor Conceived Person Conference Melbourne 27th June 2015

Download – National DC Conference 2015 DNA – Damian Adams




By Dr Sonia Allan

BA (Psych) (Hons) LLB (Hons), LLM Global Health Law, MPH, Phd (Law), Grad Dip LP, GCHE

Associate Professor, Health Law, Head of Department, Health Systems and Populations, Macquarie University

Churchill Fellow, 2011

Global Health Law Fellow, Georgetown Law, Washington DC 2012

Download – Donor Conception Conference_Sonia Allan_2015

With permission of the author.


Article for publication in the Australian Journal of Adoption – July 2013


Sperm donors – moving out of the shadows.
Contact and connection between former sperm donors and their offspring – experiences and perspectives.

Ian Smith


This article explores the views and experiences of former sperm donors regarding their motivations in becoming donors, their experiences since being donors (including in several cases contact with some of their offspring), and views on potential changes to legislation which would remove anonymity of pre-1988 sperm donors. Adding to these stories is a personal reflection by the author – traversing 25 years: from altruistic action as a sperm donor; through realization of the existence of offspring from those donations and preliminary contact with one of those young people, to political and social activism to enable connection of donor conceived people with their biological parents. The article concludes with a brief reflection on the commonalties between sperm donors and birth fathers. While a small sample, these stories begin to fill a space in which there has been both a paucity of information and many assumptions made about donor’s opinions. Far from being fearful of the removal of anonymity the past sperm donors whose views are reported here will welcome and embrace such change.


Download the full article here.



The Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information About Donors is the continuation of an Inquiry begun by the Law Reform Committee in the 56th Victorian Parliament. The Committee tabled an Interim Report on 15 September 2010, recommending that the Committee continue its inquiry in the 57th Parliament.


Final Report

On 28 March 2012, the Law Reform Committee tabled its report on the Inquiry into Access by Donor-Conceived People to Information about Donors. The report is pdf available for download as a PDF file.





During the course of the Inquiry, the Committee received 77 written submissions, and convened public hearings with 51 witnesses. The report is the culmination of evidence presented to the Committee.

Among the 30 recommendations made in the report is the key recommendation that the Victorian Government introduce legislation to allow all donor-conceived people to obtain identifying information about their donors. To ensure that donors are not unreasonably affected by the release of identifying information about them, the report also recommends that donors have the option of placing a contact veto if they do not wish to be contacted.



Is it ethical, moral and feasible to release gamete donors’ medical records to conceived offspring?

Damian H AdamsBBiotech(Hons)PhD Candidate
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA.

Damian Adams
Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia

Caroline Lorbach


Donor conception practices in Australia have left thousands of donor-conceived people, their families and gamete donors bereft of information. The lack of a nationally timeline-consistent approach to information access has driven these people to seek support and information from self-help groups, online communities and even their own DNA. This article examines the historical perspective of information access and how progress is being made through lobbying and public awareness. To determine the current status of information availability, fertility clinics around Australia were surveyed. It is argued that current practices continue to fail donor-conceived people, their families and gamete donors, and that until all donor offspring are afforded the right to know their genetic family history, they will continue to suffer discrimination, and potentially risk psychological and physical trauma.


Since its inception, donor conception practices have been a reproductive choice for the infertile. Past and current practices have the potential to cause significant and lifelong harm to the offspring through loss of kinship, heritage, identity, and family health history, and possibly through introducing physical problems. Legislation and regulation in Australia that specifies that the welfare of the child born as a consequence of donor conception is paramount may therefore be in conflict with the outcomes. Altering the paradigm to a child-centric model, however, impinges on reproductive choice and rights of adults involved in the process. With some lobby groups pushing for increased reproductive choice while others emphasise offspring rights there is a dichotomy of interests that society and legislators need to address. Concepts pertaining to a shift toward a child-centric paradigm are discussed.

Damian Adams
Flinders University, School of Nursing and Midwifery
Sonia Allan
Deakin University, School of Law

By Geraldine Hewitt

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