Kate Bourne is the Donor Services Manager at the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA), which 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. Kate talked to me about VARTA’s work with supporting parents, donors and donor-conceived people, and the importance of being truthful about donor conception and telling early. VARTA hosts Time to Tell seminars each year, and also provides a wealth of information and resources for anyone in the donor and surrogacy community.
When it comes to making decisions about using a donor or surrogate in Australia or overseas, Kate has a litmus test that she suggests people apply: When I talk to my children, can I hold my head up high and say, this is a lovely story to tell them? Is there any part of the story that is awkward to tell?
Kate and I also talked about VARTA’s Donor Legacy Project, which aims to provide resources that can assist donors to create and submit information to the Voluntary Register. The Legacy Project is an option to leave a video, or online photobook, for donor-conceived offspring to access at a later date. I love this idea and will be making a video of the DCPs I’ve helped to create.
VARTA has a wealth of resources, for surrogates, intended parents, donors and donor-conceived people. Check out their website, which is useful for anyone, regardless of which State you live in.