#Human Rights
Australian Government

There are thousands of people in Australia who were conceived using donated gametes (sperm, eggs or embryos). This practice has been going on in Australia for over 6 decades.

Some states of Australia (Victoria & WA) have legislated so that those conceived in recent years have a legal right to know who their donors are and an opportunity to know if they have siblings created from the same donor.
Those born in states that do not have legislation or those born before legislation was enacted have no rights to any information.

This knowledge is essential to the creation of a proper identity and knowing who the donor is may also allow donor conceived people access to a full medical history.

Adopted people in Australia have the right to know who their birth parents are even though in some states birth parents were legally promised anonymity many years ago. Governments decided that this needed to be changed “in the best interests of the child” and so enacted legislation which gave all adoptees the right to know the identity of their birth parents if this information still existed.

The situation is very different for donor conceived people even though donors in Australia have never been guaranteed anonymity by law.

This petition asks that discrimination based on when or where a person was conceived be stopped and that all donor conceived people be given the same rights as adopted people in accessing information about their biological heritage.


The Petition of the undersigned draws to the attention of the Senate the situation surrounding Donor Conception in Australia. The majority of donor conceived people born in Australia do not have the right to access essential information about their biological parents, including medical and identifying information even when this knowledge is still held by fertility clinics and medical practitioners.

This is a violation of their Human Rights as described in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Australia is a signatory. The Covenant states that:

“All persons be guaranteed equal & effective protection under the law against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, or other opinions, natural or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

The United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child, to which Australia is also a signatory, states that:

“In all actions concerning children, …, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

And that

“State parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity…”

We proclaim that thousands of donor conceived people in Australia are discriminated against by the mere fact of when or where they were conceived. Even those states of Australia which have legislated to give rights of access to information to donor conceived people have not made it retrospective.

Many records that hold information for older donor conceived people have been destroyed by medical practitioners and clinics or may still exist but are held by private individuals or businesses. Nothing is being done to protect these older records which could provide essential medical information to donor conceived people.

This situation has existed in Australia for over 6 decades even though in adoption the rights of the child have long been seen as paramount and they have been given the right to know the identity of their biological parents wherever possible no matter when or where in Australia they were conceived and born.

Donor conceived people should be accorded the right to access all information about their donors wherever possible.

Your Petitioners request that the Senate initiate an investigation into donor conception practices in Australia with a view to:
1. Awarding equal rights to all donor conceived people.
2. Protecting and preserving records.
3. Seeking transparency in the operations of fertility clinics.

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The Rights for Donor Conceived People petition to Australian Government was written by Caroline Lorbach and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.