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VARTA provides independent information and support for individuals, couples, and health professionals on fertility, infertility, assisted reproductive treatment (ART) and the best interests of children born.
March 2017
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Welcome note from Louise Johnson, VARTA CEO

The first quarter of this year has almost entirely focused on preparing for legislative changes to Victorian donor conception laws, implemented from last Wednesday, 1 March. Preparations included establishing systems for managing the donor conception registers, for processing applications and for facilitating donor linking. It also involved a considerable public education initiative, including a print, digital and social media advertising campaignrestructuring and updating the VARTA website to reflect the Authority's new responsibilities; and the production of brochures, information sheets and forms in relation to the new legislation and its impacts on individuals. Media coverage was considerable in the days following the implementation of the legislation and was, for the most part, supportive. This is an exciting moment in the landscape of donor conception in Victoria. VARTA looks forward to working with many of you in the future to navigate this new environment.

New donor conception laws

Victoria's new donor conception laws came into effect on 1 March. The key elements of the legislation include:
  • all people conceived in Victoria from donor eggs or sperm have a right to know their donor's identity 
  • pre-1998 donors and donor-conceived people have the right to determine how or if they wish to have contact with those with whom they are linked 
  • The central and voluntary donor conception registers are now managed by VARTA. 
For more information about the laws and VARTA's new responsibilities visit the VARTA website.
 

Advertising campaign launched

As part of its public education initiative to inform people about changes to the donor conception laws, VARTA ran an advertising campaign in print, digital and social media (see image right). The advertisement has proved effective in initiating conversation - it was the motivation behind a segment on Triple M Melbourne on 28 February - and in encouraging people to come to VARTA for information and support.
 

Website changes

VARTA has restructured and update its website to reflect the new Victorian donor conception laws and the Authority's expanded responsibilities, including those offered by VARTA's Donor Conception Register Services.
 

New VARTA publications

 

New and updated brochures 

VARTA has produced a new brochure entitled Donor Conception Register Services (see image right) which outlines the expanded role and responsibilities of VARTA's information and support services. Revised editions of Thinking of donating sperm, eggs or embryos? and Thinking of using donor sperm, eggs or embryos? have also been produced.
 

New information sheets and forms

VARTA has produced numerous new information sheets and forms for people making applications to the donor conceptions registers and those who are the subject of applications. Other related publications have been produced, including the new Talking about your donation information sheet which provides information on how best to have a conversation with family and friends about being a sperm, egg or embryo donor.
 

Media coverage

There was significant media interest in the changing donor conception laws. Coverage included:


Television

Channel 10 NewsChannel 7 News and Win News Gippsland as well as the Project.


Radio

Extensive coverage throughout the day on ABC 774, 3AW as well as segments on ABC News Radio, ABC Ballarat, ABC Perth, Triple M Breakfast, Triple J Hack, The Wire, and 2SER radio.


Print and digital media

The story was covered several times by The Age (including an editorial). It also appeared in the Conversation, the Herald Sun and news.com.au and is expected to appear shortly in the New Scientist.

Upcoming events

April 19
Donor-conceived Adult Network
This group facilitates talking, sharing, thinking, listening, and... Learn more


 


 

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Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority · Level 30, 570 Bourke Street · Melbourne, VIC 3000 · Australia

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