24th February 2016
VANISH IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE
THE RIGHT TO KNOW YOUR GENETIC HERITAGE IS NOW A REALITY FOR DONOR CONCEIVED PEOPLE
AMENDMENTS TO THE ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TREATMENT ACT 2008 WERE PASSED LAST NIGHT IN THE VICTORIAN PARLIAMENT.
Members of VANISH and Tangled Web were delighted to be in the gallery to witness this historic event and celebrate the positive outcome.
VANISH wishes to particularly acknowledge the courageous and tenacious young people of Tangled Web who made this happen.
VANISH thanks Ministers Hennessey and Mikakos and members of the Labor Government for their wholehearted activity in making this significant change happen. We recognise the support of Sue Pennicuik, Nina Springle and the Greens, Fiona Patten of the Australian Sex Party and other inspired members of the Cross Benches and Liberal Party who exercised their ‘free’ vote and took a brave stand for the rights of children and the adults they become, to know their genetic heritage, receive information and have agreed contact with donors and families.
The legislation will be implemented from the 1st March 2017 and the key points in the legislation are:
All Victorian donor conceived people, regardless of when they were born, will have a right to identifying information about their donor, without having to receive consent from their donor. This will mean that donor conceived people born before 1998 will have the same rights as those born after 1998.
• Contact preferences will be made available to donors and donor conceived people, allowing them to determine the way in which contact with those with whom they are linked will occur. People will also have the option to choose a 'no contact' preference. If a contact preference is breached, a significant penalty may apply. Contact preferences will also be extended to those legal children of donors or donor conceived people who are under the age of 18 years.
• Responsibility for managing the central and voluntary registers will be moved to VARTA. The amendments will also enable VARTA to be the 'one door in' provider of support and information to donors, donor-conceived people and their families, as per recommendations made by the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee.
VANISH has been discussing with the Minister for Health and Human Services and VARTA ways in which we may increase our search and support services for donor conceived people. We look forward to continuing to support this vibrant community.
Minister for Health Media Release 23rd February 2016
VANISH Submission to Victorian Government's Discussion Paper September 2015
'A right to know your identity'
Giving donor conceived people the right to access information identifying their donor
Please find below links to the letters we've had published on this topic in The Age:
- Kids have a right to know: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/how-do-ordinary-citizens-get-their-concerns-across-20150214-13f2i2.html
- Promises were wrong: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/community-harmony-depends-on-swift-action-20150220-13ko4n.html
- Heed painful lessons: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/federal-politics-i-pray-we-wake-up-soon-from-jurassic-nightmare-20150829-gjanw4.html
- Protections in place: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/the-nazis-abbotts-resort-to-scare-campaign-is-shameful-20150904-gjfdjh.html
- Sperm donation: Everyone has a right to know their heritage, and Handled with care and compassion: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/sperm-donation-everyone-has-a-right-to-know-their-heritage-20150906-gjg9iq.html
Penny Mackieson Submission re the Discussion Paper
Fact Sheet: Searching for your donor
Information about donors - The Right to Know
The Victorian Government has released a Discussion Paper, 'The Right to know' and is calling for submissions.