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Donor-conception register for South Australia following review of laws

A donor conception register will be established in South Australia following a major review.

A donor conception register will be established in South Australia following a major review of the state’s assisted reproductive treatment act by Deakin University health law expert Associate Professor Sonia Allan.

The South Australian Government last night officially responded to the recommendations Associate Professor Allan made in her assessment of the state’s regulation of assisted reproduction, including committing to establishing a donor-conception register.

Associate Professor Allan said she was proud to have served the South Australian community and to lead changes that will have a significant positive impact on people’s lives and psycho-social well-being.

“Victoria enacted my recommended model for access to information by donor-conceived people into law in March of this year, the first of its kind in the world; and now South Australia will follow,” she said.

“Changes made to legislation in South Australia in 2010 succeeded in removing what were seen as anti-competitive restrictions on the number of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) clinics in South Australia however they had also left gaps.

“One major gap was the establishment of a donor conception register.”

The review found that for more than 30 years there had been calls for a register, including the enactment of the current legislation in 2010 that made it possible, yet no register had been established.

“I found the delay to be unacceptable given the impact it has had, and continues to have on those born as a result of ART as well as their families, donors and their families,” Associate Professor Allan said.

“Reasons people wish to exchange information range from issues concerning identity, medical information, fear and risks of forming relationships with people they might be related to, concern’s for each other’s wellbeing and a desire for openness, honesty and equality.

“In many ways the reasons given highlight the devastating impact that not having access to information can have.

“Allowing people to suffer in this way is contrary to the paramountcy of the welfare of the child principle that governs ART. It was therefore my recommendation that a donor conception register be established as a matter of priority.”

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