Fertility Treatments

What is IVF?

In Vitro Fertilisation or “IVF” is the process involving the fertilisation of an embryo outside the womb, which is then transferred to the uterus. This process is generally used for women who are unable to conceive naturally.

Women must be over 18 years of age and qualify for treatment under the guidelines set by the fertility clinic of your choice to receive IVF treatment. Some states have regulations regarding whether women can access IVF depending whether they are married, single or in a de facto relationship (including same sex relationships).

The chance for successful conception decreases with age and some clinics have age limits beyond which they may decline to treat a woman.

Some IVF treatments may be claimable through Medicare or through private health insurance, however there will be out of pocket expenses. The process can be very expensive particularly if you are unsuccessful in conceiving initially. You should discuss costs with the clinic prior to enable you to budget accordingly.

Sperm and Egg Donors

An embryo can be created using a woman’s own eggs and her partner’s sperm or donor sperm, or by using donor eggs and donor sperm.

If a woman donates an egg to someone else, and is not the intended parent, then she will not be recognised as a parent of the child by law. Similarly, a sperm donor is not considered a parent of the child unless they are an intended parent. Once turning 18, however, the child will have the right to know who their biological parents are, so you should carefully consider if donating sperm is right for you.

A woman can use a sperm or egg donor that they know, and they donor will need to go through a counselling and testing process. The donor will also have to sign consent forms to donate. If the donor has a partner, the partner may also need to sign consent forms.  As a known donor, you need to be certain not to blur the line between donor and parent. A formal agreement can be drawn up between the known donor and the intended parent, however if the relationship between the parties does break down, the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court would ultimately decide parenting roles for the child.

For more information on IVF, you can contact TasIVF.  For more information on the legal aspects of IVF, Women’s Legal Service Tasmania are able to provide advice to women in Tasmania.