Voluntary Information
What do I have to do to register or apply for information?
What kind of information do I need to provide to help find my donor's record?
What kind of information can I put on the NSW Health Central Register for my donor or genetic sibling?
Who can access my information?
Can I remove my information from the Central Register?
What kind of information will I be able to obtain about my donor?
What is the process to match voluntary information on the Central Register?
What do I do if I want to know about my genetic siblings?
Can I find out about genetic siblings, but not my donor?
How will the NSW Ministry of Health let me know?
What if I do not want to be contacted?
What if a donor / donor offspring is found but they are not on the Central Register?
Further information

Voluntary information

If you were donor conceived before 1 January 2010 and are over 18 years of age , you can apply for information about your donor and / or other offspring from your donor. You can also register your own identifying information voluntarily on the NSW Health Central Register.

Based on your expressed consent, your information will be shared with current ART providers in NSW in an attempt to locate identifying information about your donor and / or other offspring from that same donor.

If this information is available, the NSW Ministry of Health must wait for the donor or any other offspring from that donor to also voluntarily register his/her details. The NSW Ministry of Health must receive consent from the other party after they have also placed their details on the NSW Health Central Register before you can be advised and information about your donor or other donor offspring can be released.

Anyone who places voluntary information on the Central Register, has the option of deciding who is allowed access to the information and what information can be released to whom.

What do I have to do to register or apply for information?

Before registering with the Central Register or applying for information the NSW Ministry of Health strongly recommends that you discuss this matter with a counsellor.

To register or apply, download an application form. Send the completed form to the NSW Ministry of Health together with 100 points of identification. Copies of documents must be appropriately certified.

In the last 30 years, attitudes to donor conception have changed. Prior to 1 January 2010, there was no specific legal requirement regarding record keeping for donors and many donors provided eggs, sperm and embryos anonymously. Because of this there will be some people who were donor conceived who may not be able to be assisted because information is not available or the donor has not, or will not, consent to release of any information.

What kind of information do I need to provide to help find my donor's record?

In order for the ART Provider to be able to research records effectively the following information is required (where known):

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Mother’s name (at time of treatment)
  • Father’s name
  • Donor code (if known)
  • Your blood group
  • Name of the ART provider that assisted with your conception

Knowing your donor’s donor code and the name of the ART Provider that assisted with your conception, will assist greatly in being able to find information.

To register or apply for information you will need to apply in writing by using one of the application forms on this site and providing 100 points of identification. You can also contact the NSW Ministry of Health in person or by phone to request that the forms are sent to you.

You must be over 18 to register or apply for information on the Central Register.

What kind of information can I put on the central register for my donor or genetic sibling?

A donor conceived person who was conceived as a result of ART treatment using donated sperm, eggs or embryos before 1 January 2010 can choose to provide any or all of the following information:

  • Full name and Residential Address
  • Sex
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Mother‘s Name (at time of treatment)
  • Father’s Name
  • Any medical history or genetic test of yours (or your family) that is relevant to the future health of the donor or other donor offspring
  • Physical Attributes and Characteristics
  • Any personal information you are happy to provide or are happy to have exchanged

Who can access my information?

If you were donor conceived before 1 January 2010 and aged over 18 years of age, any information you have provided voluntarily to the Central Register can only be given to those people for whom you have given express consent to do so.

Can I remove my information from the central register?

Yes, if the information was provided voluntarily it can be removed from the Central Register but only by the person who provided it, and only by notifying the NSW Ministry of Health in writing.

What kind of information will I be able to obtain about my donor?

If you were conceived prior to the commencement of the ART Act in 2010 as a result of ART treatment provided by an ART provider using a donated gamete you are entitled to de-identified information, known as "accessible information", about your donor. 
 
"Accessible information" about a donor of a gamete is non-identifying information about:

  • the ethnicity and physical characteristics of the donor;
  • the relevant medical history of the donor; and
  • the sex and year of birth of each offspring of the donor.

Applications for this information can be made to either NSW Health or directly to the ART provider. Applications can be made by people over the age of 18 years who were conceived as a result of ART treatment using a donated gamete (ova or sperm) or embryo, or the parent where the person is a child.
 
When an ART provider receives an application for accessible information the ART provider must provide the information in writing to the applicant within 28 days. If the ART provider does not have the information or has reason to believe that another ART provider has the information a statement to that effect must be provided to the applicant. The ART provider must also give a copy of the information given to the applicant to the Secretary, NSW Health along with certain any information the ART provider has about the identity of the donor, including the donor code.
 
Where an application is made directly to NSW Health the ART provider may be directed to provide the information to NSW Health. Any information about the donor that is provided to NSW Health must be entered onto the Central Register.

If you were donor conceived before 1 January 2010 and are aged over 18 years of age, you can also apply to the Register to receive information that a donor or genetic sibling has consented to you having.  For example while the donor or genetic sibling may have consented to details about ethnicity, physical characteristics, medical history, or date and place of birth, being released, he or she may not have given consent for his or her name or address to be released.

It is also important to remember that the reliability of information and records held by the ART provider cannot be guaranteed. You may wish to consider genetic testing to confirm any biological links.

What is the process to match voluntary information on the central register?

The process to match voluntarily provided information depends on whether the donor has provided information to the Central Register.

If your donor has placed information on the Central Register:

  1. Complete an Application to register voluntary donor offspring details on the Central Register and consent for release of information and send completed application form to the NSW Ministry of Health together with the documents required for the 100 point identification check.
  2. Once your application has been verified through the required 100 point identification check, the NSW Ministry of Health will send your details to the named ART provider to see whether your donor (or, where requested, other offspring from your donor) can be identified. If you do not know which ART provider assisted with your conception, your application will be sent to all registered providers in NSW.
  3. If an ART provider identifies your donor, initial non identifying information will be provided to the NSW Ministry of Health in an attempt to match your records.
  4. If the donor has consented to the release of information, has registered on the NSW Health Central Register, and a match is made, the information the donor has consented to release can be provided to you.

OR, if your donor has not placed any details on the Central Register:

  1. Complete an Application to register voluntary donor offspring details on the Central Register and consent for release of information and send completed application form to the NSW Ministry of Health together with the documents required for the 100 point identification check.
  2. The NSW Ministry of Health will hold all requests and if at some stage in the future the donor voluntarily applies to put their information on the Central Register and consents to release of information, it will be provided to you.
  3. In some cases, the ART provider may already have obtained consent from the donor, at the time of donation. If so, you will be notified of this and will be free to contact the ART provider directly.

Due to privacy considerations the NSW Ministry of Health is not able to approach the donor about seeking consent to release information.

What do I do if want to know about my genetic siblings?

  1. Complete an Application to register voluntary donor offspring details on the Central Register and consent to release of information and send completed application form to the NSW Ministry of Health together with the documents required for the 100 point identification check.
  2. Once your application has been verified through the required 100 point identification check, the NSW Ministry of Health will send your details to the named ART provider to see whether your donor (or other offspring from your donor) can be identified. If you do not know which ART provider assisted with your conception, your application will be sent to all registered providers in NSW.
  3. If an ART provider identifies your donor, non identifying donor and donor offspring information will be provided to the NSW Ministry of Health. At this stage the NSW Ministry of Health will check against all other applications from donor offspring that have the same donor.
  4. If a donor offspring has consented to the release of information and has voluntarily applied to put their information on the Central Register, the information they have consented to can be provided to you. This will be reviewed for each donor offspring individually.
  5. If the donor offspring has not registered or placed information voluntarily on the Central Register, the NSW Ministry of Health will hold the donor information and should other donor offspring come forward to apply to the Central Register with matching donor information, then the information they have consented to can be released to you.

Can I find out about genetic siblings, but not my donor?

Yes. You can apply to find out information about either or both of these parties. You are under no obligation to apply for information about both your donor and genetic siblings.

You can also consent to only your genetic sibling/s having access to the information you voluntarily place onto the Register, and not your donor.

How will the NSW Ministry of Health let me know?

When an authenticated match has been made with your donor or other offspring, the NSW Ministry of Health will notify you via Registered Post that a match has been made. To ensure you are able to receive the result in a supported way, you will also receive information about the relevant ART provider and how to access counselling.

What if I do not want to be contacted?

You may elect to place only non identifying information about yourself on the Central Register. You can place some information about yourself such as your medical history, and there is no obligation to do anything further. The NSW Ministry of Health will only contact you if you consent to being contacted.

Only information you consent to be released will be released. You may also elect to access information on the Central Register only and not consent to release of any information about yourself (other than to ART providers to search for a potential match).

What if a donor / donor offspring is found, but they are not on the register?

Where information has been provided voluntarily, it can only be released where details have been placed on the Central Register and consent has been provided that allows access to information provided. In some cases, the ART provider may already have consent from the donor, at the time of donation. If so, you will be notified of this and can contact the ART provider directly.

If the Central Register does not contain information about your donor, you can also contact your ART provider (where known) directly. ART providers have a responsibility to make every endeavour to assist in your request for information. However in some cases records are not available or incomplete and in these instances, they the ART provider may not be able to assist you to find the donor.

There will also be times when the donor wishes to remain anonymous. In these instances, no information will be able to be provided to you.

Further information

See The Central Register and the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for further information about Central Register, voluntary information and the process that the NSW Ministry of Health and NSW ART providers undertake in order to facilitate the exchange of information.

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Page Updated: Tuesday 28 February 2017