Rainbow Fertility has a responsibility for providing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) based on the relevant state or federal laws and guidelines as outlined below.
The Donor Program encompasses all donated gametes (eggs and sperm) as well as donated embryos. There are legal implications that need to be understood for anyone receiving donated gametes or embryos. Therefore, carefully read the information presented in this section.
All individuals/couples are encouraged to seek independent legal advice before attending the donor program.
- Recipients of sperm, eggs or embryos (gametes) are entitled to some information about the donor. As per Australian relevant state legislation and regulations, the recipient is entitled to know the details of the donor’s medical history, family history and genetic test results that are relevant to the future health of the person born and the recipient of the donation; and details of the physical characteristics of the gamete donor.
- In Australia, the donation of reproductive tissue must be altruistic. It is an offence for someone to intentionally give or offer valuable consideration to another person for the supply of a human egg, human sperm or a human embryo. It is also an offence for a person to intentionally receive, or offer to receive, valuable consideration from another person for the supply of a human egg, human sperm or a human embryo. However, this does not include the reimbursement of reasonable, verifiable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by a person in connection with the supply of a human egg, human sperm or a human embryo.
- The recipient/recipient couple is financially and legally responsible for the child. The clinic-recruited donor has no legal rights. Please note: this may not be the case for known donors who are involved in the child’s life – please seek legal advice.
- People conceived using donated gametes are entitled to know their genetic parents, should they want this information once they turn the age of 18. Therefore, donors must consent to their identifying information being held by the clinic and the Victorian/New South Wales Central Registers. The information includes all medical and family history, identifying information about the gamete donor and the number and assumed gender at birth of persons conceived using the gametes provided by the same gamete donor. For further information about central registers in Victoria please refer to varta.org.au and in NSW please refer to health.nsw.gov.au. Please note: all records are kept in our RTAC (Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee) accredited fertility clinics and are regarded as highly confidential.
- Gamete and embryo donors are free to withdraw at any time unless the gametes have already been used; the term “used” includes the creation of an embryo by the use of a donated gamete. Embryo donors are free to withdraw from the process up until the embryo has been transferred into the uterus of the recipient. NOTE: in Victoria for removal of embryos from storage, written consent must be provided by both of the persons who produced the gametes from which the embryos are formed.
- Donors are entitled to some information about the offspring born. On request, non-identifying information about live births, the assumed gender of the child at birth, the number of children and any birth abnormalities can be provided.
- The person conceived using donor gametes, and the donor of gametes, need to be protected from the consequences of having many siblings and offspring, respectively. Gamete donors are able to donate to up to 10 individuals in VIC, QLD and SA and 5 individuals in NSW (this includes the donor and any current or former partner of the donor).
Legal advice is compulsory in all surrogacy cases. The commissioning/intended parent(s), the surrogate and their partner (if applicable) will be required to organise separate appointments to obtain independent legal advice. The commissioning/intended parent(s) and the surrogate must obtain advice from separate legal advisors.
Please consider the following:
- In Australia, surrogacy must be altruistic; commercial surrogacy is illegal.
- In Victoria, traditional surrogacy is not permitted.
It is important to note that each state has different legislation in regard to surrogacy, so please refer to your own state Surrogacy Act for more information.
Rainbow Fertility cannot provide specific information about sex-reassignment counselling, hormone treatment, or surgery. If you would like to talk to someone in more detail about your personal circumstances and the options available to you, we encourage you to make an appointment with your GP.