Are you eligible to have treatment?

Eligibility requirements for assisted reproductive treatment in Victoria are outlined in Section 10 of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008.

According to the Act, a doctor must be satisfied that:

  • the woman is unlikely to become pregnant other than by a treatment procedure; or
  • the woman is unlikely to be able to carry a pregnancy or give birth to a child without a treatment procedure; or
  • the woman is at risk of transmitting a genetic abnormality or genetic disease to a child born as a result of a pregnancy conceived other than by a treatment procedure, including a genetic abnormality or genetic disease for which the woman’s partner is the carrier.

In addition to these requirements, people wishing to have assisted reproductive treatment must undergo a criminal record check and child protection order check. Women and their partner, if they have one, are required to provide a recent criminal record check to the clinic where they are having treatment and they must provide permission for a child protection order check to be conducted.

If a criminal record specifies that certain charges have been proven against a woman or her partner, or a child protection order has been made removing a child from the woman or her partner, a presumption against treatment applies to the woman and an ART clinic must not provide treatment.

Having treatment after your partner has died

If your partner dies, you may use their gametes (eggs or sperm) or an embryo formed from their gametes under particular circumstances. This is referred to as posthumous use.There are a number of requirements that must be met under Victorian legislation before a person can use their partner’s gametes or an embryo formed from their gametes after their partner's death.

  • The treatment procedure can only be carried out on a deceased person’s partner. In the case of a deceased woman, a male partner may be able to use her eggs or an embryo formed using her eggs, in the context of a surrogacy arrangement.
  • The deceased person must have provided written consent for their gametes or an embryo formed from their gametes to be used in a treatment procedure after their death.
  • The Patient Review Panel must approve the use of the gametes or embryo.
  • The person undergoing the treatment procedure must receive counselling.

When the Patient Review Panel is considering an application for posthumous use, the possible impact on the child to be born as a result of this treatment procedure is a main consideration. The panel also considers available research on the outcomes for children conceived after the death of one of their parents.