Join the A.R.T. Act Review Discussion

Join the conversation below to tell us your experience of the operation and effectiveness of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988. We want to hear from as many people as possible. This may include people who have used assisted reproductive treatment (whether resulting in a child or not, and whether or not donor conception was used), people wanting to access assisted reproduction, sperm donors, egg donors, embryo donors, donor-conceived people, people conceived using assisted reproduction, non-government organisations, clinicians, counsellors, technicians, government organisations, regulators, academics, lawyers, members of the public, etc.

Please provide your submission by 15 April 2016.

You can also get involved by: 

  • completing the online submission form
  • emailing your submission to A/Prof Sonia Allan: (Subject heading of “A.R.T. Act Review”)
  • posting your submission to A/Prof Sonia Allan: A.R.T. Act Review, c/-Policy and Intergovernment Relations Unit, SA Health, PO Box 287, Rundle Mall, ADELAIDE SA 5000

Comments closed

Leoni Waite

01 Apr 2016

Hello Dr Allan. I would like to offer my support for the upcoming review, and express my gratitude for your ongoing support of basic human rights for donor-conceived people.

I am 33 and donor-conceived, through Flinders Medical Centre, however my donor initially visited a private South Australian clinic that destroyed my records. Because of this, there is no identifying OR non-identifying information available to me. Flinders Medical Centre have given me the only information they have - a donor code (SVM) and the information that I have a half-sister that has not approached them. It is likely that she is unaware of her DC status, and may never find out. I myself have only been aware of being donor-conceived for twelve months. While I have been fairly accepting of this information, it came as a shock to me that my brother was conceived using a different donor; information that was not given to my mother at the time. Fortunately for him, information has been recorded and FMC are aware of who his donor is. The problem with this, is that there is no urgency on their part to find him and request consent to release any information. My brother has eight siblings through this donor and is no closer to finding them.

My experience with being donor-conceived is that seeking information has been pointless. The fact that there is no legislation to support our searches, means that we are not entitled to even the small amount of information that FMC do hold. While I do genuinely believe they think they are doing the right thing by protecting donors' privacy, there needs to be recognition of our rights as donor-conceived people.

In the last twelve months, I have completed three separate DNA tests. This has been both insightful and frustrating, as I've found out significant information about my heritage, that I now feel I have missed out on. I feel that I have lost half of my identity, and have gained nothing but questions in return; questions that will remain unanswered without a change to the current Act.

I'm hoping that by completing this review, South Australia will step up to the plate and match the changes made in Victoria. As a donor-conceived person, I feel personally excluded and discriminated against by the current Act. Information should not be selectively given out based on year of birth - the same rights should apply to all.

I look forward to meeting you on April 18th and discussing this further, thank you again

Sonia Allan > Leoni Waite

06 Apr 2016

Dear Leoni, Thank you for your comments. I truly appreciate them. I am also glad to hear you will be attending the forum - I too look forward to meeting you then! Sonia

Sonia Allan

25 Mar 2016

I will be holding live consultation forums/meetings in April 2016 to help inform the review with:
** Donor conceived people on the 18 April 2016 from 2-4pm
** Donors (individual private meetings; phone call meetings can be arranged) on the 21st April from 10am-12noon
** Consumers of A.R.T. (people who have had treatment and their partners (if any)) on the 21st April from 2pm-4pm
Please email for further information. Interested people must register by Friday, 11 April, 2016.

Rebecca Mackay

24 Mar 2016

Currently the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act restricts access to ART for people without an infertility category.

For female same sex couples this means that the person seeking treatment needs to have an infertility issue even though the couple cannot become pregnant together. Same sex female couples should have access to the anonymous sperm donors available at ART clinics. Arrangements for sperm donors outside of ART clinics do not offer the same legal and health protections (blood and gene screening) as donors sourced through an ART provider. These issues are the same for single women without an infertility category who should also be granted access to these donors and ART services.

Same sex male couples should also be allowed to access ART services in South Australia. If they can make arrangements for a surrogate and donated oocytes they should not be discriminated against and should be allowed to access the necessary ART services to have a child.

To address these issues the laws governing access to ART in South Australia need to be changed to be more in line with Victoria which has non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and marital status as a guiding principle. If a woman is unlikely to become pregnant other than by an ART procedure it makes sense that she allowed access to these services.

Females without an infertility indication should be allowed to store their gametes (eggs) a procedure often referred to as ‘social egg freezing’. Currently males are able to freeze their sperm for future use however females without an infertility indication are not able to access the same service. This law is inconsistent state to state. Women should have the same rights to make these reproductive choices no matter where they live. The egg freezing procedure does not need to be government funded however women who are prepared to outlay the considerable cost should be allowed to access the service if they choose.

Sonia Allan > Rebecca Mackay

25 Mar 2016

Thank you for your views Rebecca. They will be taken into account to inform the review.

Rosalie Grace

17 Mar 2016

I believe the current SA legislation is discriminatory to non heterosexual families.
In my own experience, my partner and I can only have children if we are found to be medically infertile. Our test results are still to come back, and we are just praying that there is something wrong enough with us that we will be able to access ART.
Same gender couples shouldn't be treated as second class citizens in this way. ART should be available to anyone who would like to use it, regardless of gender or relationship status.

Sonia Allan > Rosalie Grace

18 Mar 2016

Thank you for your comment Rosalie. We appreciate you sharing your experience and views, they are valuable in considering the current operation of the South Australian A.R.T. legislation.

Sonia Allan

08 Mar 2016

A short note to say how wonderful it is that such an array of people are contributing to the review via comments, submissions, emails, and letters. We have been contacted by donor conceived people, consumers of A.R.T. services, donors, medical professionals, advocacy groups and more. We will be accepting submissions until 15 April, 2016 so keep them coming! Also, please keep an eye out for face-to-face meetings planned for April. I look forward to meeting with a variety of people, and learning more about A.R.T. related practice, views and experiences!


07 Mar 2016

I am both relieved and grateful that this review is taking place, and appreciate your involvement in facilitating the process Dr Allan. For me it has been a 34 years waiting process for the opportunity to show support for my children in fighting for their basic rights to learn of their whole genetic profile.

I am the mother of two adult children conceived at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia, through donor-conceived sperm in South Australian (b. daughter 1983, donor code unknown/not provided. Also my son born in 1985, donor code D5). My daughter has not been able to access even non-identifying information about her donor because clinic staff destroyed all records. FMC confirmed my son has 4 female and 4 male half siblings conceived from the same donor sperm and it is painful that all efforts so far are in vain to locate information about either his donor or his 8 half-siblings. It was confirmed that the donor sperm for my daughter was transferred from a high profile private Adelaide gynaecologist in 1982-1983 when he decided to cease running his donor clinic.

Whilst my children get on with their busy lives, the barriers to learning about their biological fathers, 50% of their genetic profile, lies in the background, out of their grasp. They are not searching for a 'father', they need find out medical information - anything further would just be a bonus.

As the recipient of donor sperm, a decision brought about by the death of my first son due to an untreatable genetic skin disease, I have a lifelong gratitude to the donors who made it possible for me to have these beautiful people to raise and call my own, and hope one day there is an "avenue" where I can convey my feelings of gratitude to them.

Without a voluntary register, the men who were told, like recipients 'in the old days' that the anonymous process was not negotiable, do not have the option to be found by offspring, should they want to learn how many children were born from their donation(s).

My belief that all donor-conceived people should have access to information about who they are (their genetic origins) and where they came from is unwavering, regardless of when they were conceived. I fervently hope that the South Australian Government steps up for those of us affected and has the courage to mirror the current Victorian Government's lead and legislates to remove the discrimination within the current Act to allow all donor-conceived people this basic human right.

Thank you.

Sonia Allan > Laura EASTHOPE

08 Mar 2016

Dear Laura, Thank you very much for your comments. We are very grateful that you have shared your experience as a parent of donor-conceived children. A valuable contribution to the review!

John Mayger

25 Feb 2016

I was (1978) and I am a current sperm donor. I donated at RNSH clinic and my sperm was used in 1978-79. I do not know any details about how my sperm was used, traded, shipped to 3rd party providers or how many children i helped make. This impoverishment of my biological children is a blight on my life and spirit.
I have 4 adult children from 40 yo to 33 yo and 19 little children from 12yo to 18 days old. I donate free lance to mainly lesbian families by Artificial donation. I am known to the mothers and I play a distant role in most of my children's lives. The mothers have formed a support network (like a clan). Your review needs to take into account the new internet method of sperm supply that is free and allows children to know their donor from birth. All new legislation needs to take into account the variety of people requiring sperm and those men supplying it.

Sonia Allan > John Mayger

07 Mar 2016

Dear John. The review will take into account all views and experiences on these matters. We thank you for sharing yours!

Kim Buck

17 Feb 2016

So pleased that this review is taking place, and thank you for overseeing the process, Dr Allan.
I'm a 31 year-old donor-conceived South Australian (b. 1984, Flinders Medical Centre, donor code 12) with no access to information about my donor - or my 13 half-siblings - because all records containing this vital information were destroyed shortly after my birth. Although I have had a long time to get used to the harsh reality of my situation, the inability to learn about my biological father or a whole half of my genetic background continues to have pervasive and far-reaching consequences.
I believe that all donor-conceived people should have access to information about who they are and where they came from, regardless of when they were conceived. I hope the South Australian Government has the courage to follow the current Victorian Government's lead and legislates to remove the discrimination within the current Act to allow all donor-conceived people this basic human right.

Sonia Allan > Kim Buck

17 Feb 2016

Thank you for your comments Kim, they are very much appreciated and are valuable in informing the review!

Peter Kennelly

10 Feb 2016

I support donor conceived people in having access to information regardless of when they were conceived. I feel basic human rights are being violated and no donor conceived person can feel complete not knowing who they truly are and where they come from

Sonia Allan > Peter Kennelly

17 Feb 2016

Thank you for your comment Peter. We appreciate you sharing your views!

Sonia Allan > Peter Kennelly

17 Feb 2016

Thank you for your comment Peter. We appreciate you sharing your views!


08 Feb 2016

As the mother of a child conceived by donor conception in 1973 ,I support donor conceived people having access to identifying information on the donor regardless of when that person was conceived.
It can and does cause a lot of heartache to all involved only knowing half of one's heritage.

Sonia Allan > Jane KENNELLY

09 Feb 2016

Thanks Jane. It is very helpful to hear about your lived experience as a parent of a donor-conceived person!

Talia DC

29 Jan 2016

Hi Sonia, Great to see the South Australian review. I hope it means that donor conceived people will finally get information about their donors and siblings. Children's rights should always come first.

Sonia Allan > Talia DC

30 Jan 2016

Thanks for your comment Talia! The review is considering the provisions in the legislation for a donor register and the paramountcy of the welfare of the child. If you have time, we pose further questions relevant to these issues in our Fact Sheets (especially 1, 6 and 7) and would welcome further comments on them too!

Karen Abraham

22 Jan 2016

Hi Sonia, I just wanted to leave a comment about paramount consideration going to the children, yet unborn. Part of the assessment and screening of would be parents is to sign that there is no known reason why you could not parent - and asks along the lines of abuse and neglect but in my experience this does not go far enough. A consent form to exchange information with Families SA and to consult the data base both with SAPOL (jis system) and Families SA (C3MS system) should be completed. A thorough check around abuse should occur as often people are dishonest, secret and do no disclose their past to partners.

Sonia Allan > Karen Abraham

25 Jan 2016

Hi Karen! Thank you for your comment. We are very interested in hearing from people about the provision in the legislation that recognises the welfare of children born as a result of A.R.T. as paramount, and in particular about whether it is being upheld; how it is being used; and the sorts of considerations being made and/or systems put in place. It is therefore really valuable to have your input and suggestions regarding the sorts of considerations that should be made; and on what more needs to be done to ensure the paramountcy of the welfare of the child principle is met.

Sonia Allan

20 Jan 2016

Really looking forward to hearing from people about their experiences and views of assisted reproduction in South Australia and beyond! We welcome anything you can tell us that will help us reflect on the operation and effectiveness of the current law.