Victorians undergoing assisted reproductive technology will no longer be required to undergo police and child protection order checks before accessing treatment under new reforms from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced the legislation is expected to be introduced into Parliament today to remove the unnecessary delay, cost and distress of these checks.
The change will mean that 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.
The checks were among the most common issues raised through Victoria’s landmark independent review of assisted reproductive treatment conducted by Michael Gorton AM, with many patients describing them as unfair, humiliating and a cause of distress.
Further consultation with police, clinics, the regulator and advocates revealed the checks were discriminatory and unnecessary.
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 just another part of the Labor Government’s reforms to make assisted reproductive treatment fairer, more affordable and easier to access for all Victorians.
The Government has already implemented a number of 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
“While IVF can be a life-changing experience for many families, it can also be an emotional and financial rollercoaster – these changes will make that journey a little easier.”
“We’re making IVF easier to access and free from discrimination through these landmark reforms.”
“Police and child protection checks unfairly discriminate between people who conceive naturally and those accessing assisted reproductive treatment – we’re fixing that.”