The regulation of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) varies between states and territories in Australia. There is also considerable variation in regulation internationally. The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 is the primary legislation which governs ART in Victoria.

In this section we provide an overview of legislation and guidelines, the regulation of Victorian ART and a history of Victorian ART for consumers and health professionals.

Regulatory Plan

Under section 100 of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (Vic) (the Act), VARTA has a number of regulatory functions. One function is the registration of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) providers, allowing these providers to operate in Victoria. Another function involves the consideration of applications for the import or export of donated gametes (sperm and eggs) or embryos produced using donated gametes.

VARTA has other roles which support its regulatory functions, including managing the Central and Voluntary registers, providing counselling and support services to individuals involved in donor conception, and providing public education about ART and fertility.

VARTA’s Regulator Plan is a publically available document that clarifies VARTA’s regulatory role. The plan sets out VARTA’s approach to its regulatory responsibilities and the objectives of these responsibilities, ensuring transparency and public accessibility. It gives a comprehensive insight into VARTA’s statutory powers, as well as its regulatory objectives and outcomes.

The Regulator Plan emphasises that VARTA always considers the guiding principles of the Act in performing its regulatory functions, aiming to be an efficient, transparent, accessible, collaborative and consistent regulator.

VARTA will focus on achieving the outcomes and objectives identified and on minimising the risks outlined in the Regulatory Plan. It will work alongside co-regulators and stakeholders to achieve a cohesive, collaborative approach to regulation of the ART industry, while ensuring that the wellbeing of ART patients and children born is protected.

Import and export of donated eggs, sperm and embryos 

VARTA has responsibility for the approval of import and export of donor eggs, sperm and embryos formed from donor gametes in and out of Victoria.

If you would like to import or export donor gametes or embryos produced from donor gametes into or out of Victoria, you will need to apply to the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority for approval.

Legislative changes

Donor information amendments

Legislative changes passed on 23 February 2016 came into effect on 1 March 2017. This world-first legislation will give all people conceived in Victorian from egg and sperm donation the right to know their donor’s identity. Read more...

Recognition for parents under interstate surrogacy

Laws passed on 30 October 2014 closed a gap in Victoria's surrogacy laws by allowing parents of children born in Victoria through a non-commercial surrogacy arrangement in another Australian state or the Australian Capital Territory to have their parentage legally recognised. (Treatment in the Northern Territory will not be covered by the new arrangements as it does not have laws regulating surrogacy).  Read more...