Family limits in donor assisted conception

In Western Australia laws relating to donor assisted conception limit donors to a maximum of five families through donation (excluding their own). There are no limits to the number of children conceived through the same donor within these five families.

Family limits may differ across jurisdictions but are standard practice in many countries in the regulation of donor assisted conception.

Family limits are implemented to:

  • reduce the likelihood of donor conceived persons who share the same donor entering an intimate relationship (known as consanguinity); and
  • limit the psycho-social impacts on donor conceived children.

Clinics should ensure they adhere to the five-recipient family limit by:

  • talking about this with donors and ensuring they are aware of their responsibilities;
  • ensuring they check if a donor has donated in another jurisdiction, at another clinic or privately;
  • identifying if previous donations resulted in the birth of donor conceived children; and
  • ensuring systems are in place to track the number of families created by a donor and prevent use after five families have been reached.

Breaches of the five family limit must be reported to the Department of Health.

More information

Reproductive Technology Unit

Mail to: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849