The article discusses legal and ethical issues related to assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in Australia. The legislation governing ART in the country include the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 and the Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002. It tackles preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), egg freezing technology and posthumous use of gametes or embryos. Surrogacy arrangements are allowed under certain circumstances in Western Australia and Victoria.
Ken Daniels is Adjunct Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has worked in the field of assisted human reproduction for 35 years undertaking counselling, research and policy development. He has published over 140 papers and chapters in books. He is the author of the widely used book designed for parents and professionals, ‘Building a Family with the Assistance of Donor Insemination’.
The project examined how laws and policies in all Australian states and territories have affected people’s decisions about their stored embryos created through IVF and aimed to improve those laws, policies and practices by making recommendations.
The research focused on the experiences of over 400 past and present IVF patients across Australia in over 20 different clinical sites, and spanning more than two decades.
Study question: What are the expectations and experiences of anonymous gamete donors about contact with their donor offspring?
Summary answer: Rather than consistently wanting to remain distant from their donor offspring, donors' expectations and experiences of contact with donor offspring ranged from none to a close personal relationship.
Leading researchers and reproductive specialists discussed current research into whether we can create human sperm and eggs from stem cells and what this could mean for assisted reproductive laboratories and clinical practice in the future at the 2015 Twilight Seminar: Hope, hype or reality: can we make eggs or sperm from stem cells?
Presented by Professor Rob Norman, Director, The Robinson Institute, Adelaide, 2011 at the annual Louis Waller Lecture.
The lecture focused on the importance of pre-conception health, dangers to the embryo in its early stages of development, and the risk factors of obesity, smoking, environmental agents, age and occupation. Professor Norman also discussed risks and opportunities for earliest life, personal and community interventions, implications for assisted reproductive treatment units and the need for research in this area.
Professor Norman was able to visit Melbourne thanks to Your Fertility, an initiative funded through the Family Planning Grants Program of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
Donor treatment often focuses on parents and little is known about how the children conceived fare. This video was filmed at VARTA's Twilight seminar 'How are you going? - Experiences of donor conception' (8 April 2013).
Dr Vasanti Jadva presented the results of a longitudinal study of families created using gamete (sperm and egg) donation. The children of the families were born around the year 2000 and data was collected at ages 1, 2, 3, 7 and 10 years.
Proposed legislative change mandating retrospective release of identifying information: consultation with donors and Government response
Study question: How do gamete donors who presumed they could remain anonymous respond to proposed legislation to retrospectively remove anonymity?
Eggsurance - false hope or sensible fertility planning?
For the 2014 Louis Waller Lecture, three eminent obstetrics and gynaecology specialists discussed the topic the pros and cons of egg freezing for social reasons.
Professor Catherine Waldby set the scene about the social context of egg freezing, while Professor Martha Hickey and Dr Devora Lieberman debated the pros and cons of social egg freezing.