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Victorian Government proposes amendment to IVF laws

Michael Gorton AM

The Victorian Government has introduced changes to IVF Legislation to provide that a married woman in Victoria need not obtain the consent of her spouse to undergo IVF treatment, if using donor sperm, in circumstances where the woman and husband are separated.

The amendment arises in response to a Federal Court decision in 2018 which declared part of the legislation invalid, to the extent that a separated husband’s consent was required.

The proposal to amend was also part of recommendations from the independent review of IVF Legislation conducted by Russell Kennedy Principal, Michael Gorton AM who is reviewing IVF Legislation for the Victorian Government. His final report in relation to the IVF Legislation is expected this year.

The proposed legislation also includes ancillary changes to the legislation to clarify the status of a child born as a result of donor IVF use by a separated woman and provides some other drafting changes, particularly in relation to the use of counsellors during surrogacy arrangements.

Once the final report of the independent review of the IVF Legislation by Michael Gorton is available, a more substantive review of the legislation would be expected from the Victorian Government in due course.

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