Proposed legislative change mandating retrospective release of identifying information: consultation with donors and Government response

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


STUDY QUESTION How do gamete donors who presumed they could remain anonymous respond to proposed legislation to retrospectively remove anonymity? SUMMARY ANSWER A little more than half of the donors opposed the recommendation to introduce legislation to remove donor anonymity with retrospective effect. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY An increasing proportion of parents disclose their origins to their donor-conceived children and growing numbers of donor-conceived adults are aware of how they were conceived. Research indicates that access to information about the donor is important to donor-conceived people. However, worldwide most donor-conceived people are unable to find any identifying information about the donor because of the practice of anonymous gamete donation. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION This study adopted a qualitative research model using semi-structured interviews with gamete donors that included open questions. Interviews with 42 volunteers were conducted between December 2012 and February 2013. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS Before 1998 gamete donors in Victoria, Australia, were able to remain anonymous. Pre-1998 donors were invited through an advertising campaign to be interviewed about their views on a recommendation that legislation mandating retrospective release of identifying information be introduced. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE Donors were almost evenly split between those who supported and those who rejected the recommendation to introduce legislation to remove donor anonymity with retrospective effect. About half of the donors who rejected the recommendation suggested the compromise of persuading donors voluntarily to release information (whether identifying or non-identifying) to donor-conceived people. These donors were themselves willing to supply information to their donor offspring. The findings of this study informed the Victorian Government s response to the proposed legislative change. While acknowledging do
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286 - 292
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this