Donor Conception and the Search for Information: From Secrecy and Anonymity to Openness, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Donor Conception and the Search for Information

From Secrecy and Anonymity to Openness, 1st Edition

By Sonia Allan


254 pages

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Paperback: 9781138363496
pub: 2018-08-14
Hardback: 9781409446392
pub: 2016-10-19
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315568171
pub: 2016-10-14
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This book examines donor conception and the search for information by donor-conceived people. It details differing regulatory approaches across the globe, including those that provide for ‘open-identity’ or anonymous donation, or that take a ‘dual-track’ approach. In doing so, it identifies models regarding the recording and release of information about donors that may assist in the further development of the law, policy and associated practices. Arguments for and against donor anonymity are considered, and specifically critiqued. The study highlights contrasting reasoning and emphasis upon various interests and factors that may underpin secrecy, anonymity or openness. The book will be of value to academics, students and legal practitioners involved with this area. It is also relevant to policy makers, health practitioners and anyone with an interest in the subject.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: A brief history of donor conception, secrecy and anonymity.

Chapter 2: The call for information: donor conceived people, recipients and donors.

Chapter 3: The search.


Chapter 4: Jurisdictions that have laws granting access to identifying information.

Chapter 5: Jurisdictions that enable both ‘open-identity’ and anonymous donation.

Chapter 6: Jurisdictions that have laws enshrining anonymity.


Chapter 7: Examining arguments underpinning donor anonymity.

Chapter 8: Placing the issues in a Human Rights Framework.

Chapter 9: Information for All? Opening records from the past. 


Chapter 10: CONCLUSION


About the Author

Sonia Allan is Associate Professor of health law at Macquarie University, and Head of Department of Health Systems and Populations. She has been a legal academic for over a decade, and has worked in both legal and health contexts. Sonia has published nationally and internationally. She was a Melbourne University Research Scholarship recipient for the duration of her PhD; a 2011 Churchill Fellow for her contribution to Australian society through her international and comparative research into donor conception; a 2011 ‘Global Health Law Fellow’ at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC; and received an AMP Tomorrow Fund Grant in 2014. Sonia has, throughout her career, also been active in community outreach and influential in law reform. She has participated in numerous Australian state and federal inquiries on assisted reproduction, as well as inquiries abroad. She has been cited extensively in resulting reports; instrumental in changing laws related to access to information by donor conceived people; and continues to be called upon to consult or comment on issues related to the development of the law.

About the Series

Biomedical Law and Ethics Library

Scientific and clinical advances, social and political developments and the impact of healthcare on our lives raise profound ethical and legal questions. Medical law and ethics have become central to our understanding of these problems, and are important tools for the analysis and resolution of problems – real or imagined.

In this series, scholars at the forefront of biomedical law and ethics will contribute to the debates in this area, with accessible, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial ideas. Each book in the series will develop an independent hypothesis and argue cogently for a particular position. One of the major contributions of this series is the extent to which both law and ethics are utilised in the content of the books, and the shape of the series itself.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General