As both assisted reproductive treatment itself and the needs and expectations of participants and the public continue to change, the role of VARTA is critical to the effective operation of the assisted reproductive treatment system and the welfare of all of the people it touches.
The Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) was established under the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008, which commenced on 1 January 2010.
The introduction of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 heralded not only a new name for the Authority but created significant changes in every aspect of the its work. Transfer of the donor registers to the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) and the change from a licensing to a registration system for ART providers were two key changes. On 1 March 2017 the donor registers were transferred back to VARTA. Public education about assisted reproductive treatment and promoting research into the causes and prevention of infertility is now a major function for VARTA.
VARTA's role continues to evolve. The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Further Amendment Act 2014 expanded the functions of VARTA to provide counselling, intermediary and support services to applicants to the donor registers and those affected by the applications including: donor-conceived people, donors, descendants of donor-conceived people, recipients of donor treatment and relatives. The provisions came into effect on 29 June 2015.