Canadian Journal of Family Law

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This paper undertakes a comparative analysis of the gamete-donor anonymity schemes in Ontario, Canada and Victoria, Australia. As of March 1, 2017, Victoria became the first jurisdiction in the world to retrospectively remove gamete-donor anonymity. Conversely, donor anonymity remains protected in Ontario, largely through statutory silence. While many donor conceived individuals are calling for other jurisdictions to follow suit and retrospectively abolish anonymity, an in-depth analysis of Victoria’s policy-making process suggests that Ontario should not take a similar course of action. This conclusion is based on the inherent issues with retrospective legislation, the historical differences between the two jurisdictions in overseeing gamete donation, the Victorian government’s inconsistent reliance on evidence, and the ill- suited reasoning used to justify Victoria’s policy decision. In lieu of enacting retrospective legislation, this paper recommends that Ontario should increase public education and create a voluntary, provincial donor registry. Based on a relational approach, these steps are more conducive to harmonizing the complex, interconnected interests at play and to supporting healthy relationships in whatever form they may take.