In welcome news for Victorians who are attempting to start a family using IVF, Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank has opened in Victoria.
The groundbreaking public facility will be located at The Royal Women’s Hospital and opened on 3 July 2023 with the intention of giving more Victorians the opportunity to have a family through access to donor eggs and sperm.
In a news report announcing the opening of the new facility, The Royal Women’s Hospital CEO, Professor Sue Matthews, said that donated eggs and sperm can help people who, for many reasons, are unable to become parents.
“With the help of generous people who will come forward to donate their eggs or sperm, we’ll be making it easier and fairer for people to realise their dream of starting a family,” Professor Matthews said.
The initial focus of the new facility will be on recruiting egg and sperm donors, and it has begun accepting eggs and sperm donations from eligible Victorians.
Egg donors must be Australian citizens aged between 23 and 38 years and sperm donors must be Australian citizens aged between 23 and 45 years. Donors must attend counselling and undertake health checks as well as other medical and psychological enquiries.
With one in six couples facing difficulties in starting a family, and the current high cost of private IVF services, the launch of the new facility is welcome news for many prospective families.
According to a Victorian Department of Health media release: “Once fully operational, this almost $120 million program will help up to 5,000 Victorians every year to start a family, helping them save up to $10,000.”
Prior to the opening of the public bank, access to IVF treatments was confined to expensive private options or relying on overseas donors. This placed a considerable financial burden on individuals, acting as a barrier that prevented them from starting a family. Moreover, the economic burden is often exacerbated by the fact that for most couples, achieving IVF success requires several attempts.
At Nicholes Family Lawyers, our team has an excellent understanding of assisted reproductive technology and the associated legal issues, and can provide expert, tailored advice to individuals and couples seeking to conceive a child or become a donor. Please contact our office at 03 9670 4122 to arrange an initial consultation.