Victorians now have easier and fairer access to assisted reproductive treatment after legislation passed today, removing the requirement for women and their partners to undergo police and child protection order checks before accessing treatment.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said the new legislation removes the unnecessary delay, cost and distress associated with these checks.
The change means a woman and her partner, if she has one, and parties to a surrogacy arrangement, will have quicker access to the treatment they need to grow their family.
It will impact an estimated 25,000 women and their partners who access assisted reproductive treatment in Victoria each year.
The changes respond to concerns about the requirements for the checks raised during the landmark independent review of Assisted Reproductive Treatment in Victoria by Michael Gorton AM, with many patients describing them as unfair, humiliating and a cause of distress.
Police, clinics, the regulator and advocates were also consulted in developing the legislation.
Assisted reproductive treatment clinics will still need to ensure the welfare and best interests of the child to be born are paramount when deciding to treat a woman.
Removing police and child protection checks is another part of the Victorian Government’s reforms to make assisted reproductive treatment fairer, more affordable and easier to access for all Victorians.
The Government has already implemented several recommendations from the Gorton review – including removing the requirement for women who are separated but not divorced to seek the approval of their former partner to access IVF with their own eggs and donor sperm.
More Victorians will also be able to become parents through IVF with work underway to develop a business case for public IVF services.
As noted by Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos
“IVF can be a life-changing experience, but it can also be emotional and stressful. These new laws give Victorians the certainty they need to make the journey a little easier.”
“Police and child protection order checks unfairly discriminate between people who can conceive naturally and those accessing assisted reproductive treatment – these legislative changes will fix that.”