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What information is available to me as a parent?

Parents of children under 18 years of age, who were conceived prior to 1 January 2010 as a result of ART treatment using a donated gamete are entitled to apply for non-identifying information about their child's donor. Non-identifying information, called "accessible information", means the ethnicity and physical characteristics of the donor, the relevant medical history of the donor, and the sex and date of birth of any other offspring of their child's donor.

In the event of a medical emergency or life threatening situation, parents of donor conceived children can apply to the Secretary, NSW Ministry of Health for the release of identifying information about their child’s donor where disclosure is necessary to save the life of the child, or to prevent serious damage to the child’s physical or psychological health, and the information cannot reasonably be obtained by the parent in any other way. The Secretary can only make a disclosure on the basis of preventing serious damage to the psychological health of a child if a registered medical practitioner with expertise in mental health, or a registered psychologist, has certified in writing that the damage is likely to occur unless the disclosure takes place.

Unfortunately identifying information about the donor may not always be available because prior to the commencement of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2007 on 1 January 2010 there was no legislative requirement to keep identifying information about donors.

Donors can voluntarily place information about themselves on the Central Register and consent to release of that information. If the donor has not voluntarily placed his or her details on the Central Register parents can contact the ART provider directly as they have responsibility to support donors and donor offspring in exchanging information and may be able to assist. There will however, be some the donors who wish to remain anonymous, and in these instances, the NSW Ministry of Health and the ART provider may not be able to help you.

Parents are not able to register themselves, or their children, on the Central Register and cannot provide consent to release information about their child. Once children who are donor conceived are over the age of 18 years they can register on the Central Register and apply for information about their donor.

Accessible information

Applications for accessible 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.

To apply for accessible information you will need to decide whether to apply to NSW Health or to the ART provider. The application must be in writing using a form available on this website. Separate forms are available for applications to NSW Health and to the ART providers. The completed form should be returned to either NSW Health or the ART provider together with 100 points of identification.

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 provide a copy of the information given to the applicant to the Secretary, NSW Health along with any other 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 information to NSW Health if the Central Register does not hold the required information. Once the information is provided to NSW Health the accessible information will be provided to the applicant. All information about the donor that is provided to NSW Health must also be entered onto the Central Register.

Can I register my donor conceived child on the central register?

No. Only donor conceived offspring over the age of 18 years can apply to place themselves on the Central Register. The Central Register is for donors and donor offspring.

How do I obtain information about my child's donor?

To obtain information about your child's you will need to apply in writing by completing either an Application to the ART provider for accessible information or an Application to NSW Health for accessible information. The completed form should be returned to either the ART provider or the NSW Ministry of Health, depending on which form has been completed, together with documents providing 100 points of identification.

The ART provider will provide the information to the applicant where the application is made to the provider. Where the application is made to NSW Health the ART provider will provide the information to NSW Health who will provide it to the applicant and record it on the Central Register.

Further information

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

Current as at: Monday 13 December 2021
Contact page owner: Private Health Care