26 September 2023

Opinion invited on birth donor details

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Members of the public have been encouraged to make their opinions known about the next phase of a register proposed by the State Government to give people who may not know enough about their parents or relatives to have access to critical information about their genetic heritage and relatives.

The proposed South Australian ‘Donor Conception Register’ would use an electronic register to store peoples’ donor conception records, but still prevented restrict donor-conceived people accessing information about their genetic parents.

In a review of the current laws, led by Professor Sonia Allan, an Expert Consultant on the Regulation of Assisted Conception, recommended improved access, however delays are being experienced in its implementation.

“All of the proposed amendments will work together to support openness and honesty about donor conception and to uphold the human rights of donor-conceived people,” Professor Allen said.

“Importantly, it enables people to access records about their genetic heritage, their siblings and share important medical information,” she said.

A round of public consultation in 2021 found growing support for change, with donor-conceived people, donors, recipient parents and stakeholders engaged across the country helping shape safe and respectful access to the register.

The Minister of Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton said the current Government wanted to hear from the community which model was most suitable, with a number of proposed changes on the YourSay website.

“I’m calling on South Australians to weigh in on the future of donor conception in our State – and join those who have already embraced change,” Mr Picton said.

“It’s now widely recognised how important it is for donor-conceived people to have access to genetic information for their long-term health,” he said.

“It not only helps them plan for a family of their own – it could save their life knowing what risks they may face.”

The Minister said the proposed changes include sharing key medical information between parties to highlight health risks associated with the donor’s medical history; giving donor-conceived people the option to include donor information on birth certificates; and removing lifelong anonymity for donors.

South Australians can have their say through the 4-page website ‘YourSay’ at this PS News link with written submissions accepted until Tuesday, 6 December.

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