Assisted Reproductive Technology services in the ACT

14 April 2021

Many jurisdictions across Australia have legislation and regulatory regimes that provide a framework for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) providers, patients and donors 

Dr Paterson said that unlike other jurisdictions, the ACT does not currently have in place any legislated or regulatory system governing important aspects of ART for parents and children, including matters related to donor recognition and provider accreditation and licensing”. 

In next week’s Legislative Assembly, Dr Paterson will call on the ACT Government to:  

  • review the availability of ART support services and comparable regulatory arrangements in other jurisdictions;  
  • consider establishing a regulatory framework for ART in the ACT, including consideration of the position of sexuality and gender diverse couples;  
  • consider the establishment of a register to contain information where donor gametes are used and the provision of regulated access to this information;  
  • consider the potential impact of the Federal Government’s Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021;  
  • consider the availability of ART for low-income earners in the ACT; and 
  • report back to the Legislative Assembly by August 2022 on findings. 

Dr Paterson points out that a very critical part of this motion is the potential to establish a registration process for donated sperm, eggs or embryos to ensure that individuals in the ACT who are born using this treatment can identify their biological parent or obtain information about their genetic heritage and background. 

“Whatever the outcome, ART can be a life-changing experience. Many couples I have spoken to have described it as emotionally and physically draining. It can be invasive, distressing and can be long, grief-filled process. In contrast, it can be the most life-giving, phenomenal experience. I want to make sure that anyone in Canberra undergoing ART treatment is provided with the best possible care, resources and patient support”, Dr Paterson said. 

Dr Paterson has called for a review to ensure appropriate services and information are readily available in the ACT to assist individuals and couples going through this process.