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Victorian sperm donors discover multiple offspring after believing material was for research

Victorian men who believed they were donating sperm to research and would remain anonymous, will be able to contact and be contacted by their biological children.

As reported in the Herald Sun, the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority has found that detailed sperm donor records were kept by the Queen Victoria, Prince Henry’s and Royal Women’s Hospitals prior to fertility industry regulation in 1988.

The VARTA report to be released today will reveal one donor from the early days of the state’s fertility treatment program who was told his six months worth of sperm donations were for research, but discovered nearly 30 years later that he had eight offspring.

Chief Executive of the Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority, Louise Johnson rebuffed Ross’s comments that this seemed a bit ‘unfair’.

“Most of the donors who donated many years ago before legislation was introduced, did know they were donating altruistically, to help people form families but there were one or two who were confused and thought they were donating to research,” Ms Johnson said.

“These were young guys, that confusion is understandable in some cases.”

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“So you’ve got a child who now is presumably in their 30s and the government is telling his parents that they have to tell him that he is the product of donated sperm,” Ross said.

“Why, you’ve had a harmonious house for 30 years?”

“And then someone might knock on the door and say, I’m your genetic father?” John said.