Home > IVF, Victoria > Herald Sun – “Gay couples’ access to IVF delayed” by Georgie Pilcher

Herald Sun – “Gay couples’ access to IVF delayed” by Georgie Pilcher

image GAY couples wanting access to IVF and donor sperm will have to wait for authorities to develop a way to make sure they are fit to be parents.

Laws allowing same-sex couples access to donor sperm and extra IVF services will be delayed at least five more months amid claims the Government doesn’t have the technology or resources to implement mandatory police checks in the legislation.

The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Bill, passed in December, gave lesbian and single women access to donor sperm and additional IVF services, but it also made it compulsory for all women and their partners, and any man donating sperm, to have police and child protection record searches.

The Act was to be proclaimed on July 1, but Melbourne IVF director Dr John McBain said the Government had stalled, unable to handle the hundreds of expected record checks.

"The Government is telling us it doesn’t have the resources in place to cope with the police checks," he said.

"The bureaucracy isn’t in place in the relevant department to screen the very large numbers of people who will be trying to get police checks."

Dr McBain said he was advising patients to have police checks in advance.

"There are many women whose ovaries are getting older and have to go interstate. Now they will have to wait until at least September or later," he said.

Shadow health spokeswoman Helen Shardey claims the Government has failed to develop an IT program to run the police checks.

"This bungling could lead to Victoria’s IVF program being closed down, robbing couples of the opportunity to commence treatment to start a family," she said.

"This failure could also put at risk the ability of women needing cancer treatment to have their eggs stored for future IVF treatment."

A spokesman for the Department of Human Services confirmed lesbians and gay couples would have to wait.

The Government wanted to get it right. "I don’t know the precise details of what the hold-up is, but we need to put all the mechanisms in place to support the Act," he said.

"We need to have all those systems and supporting regulations actually happening and that is the work that is going on currently."

He would not comment on the date of delivery, saying another couple of months was a short wait for gay couples who had already waited nearly a decade.

"The wait in the overall scheme of things between now and as long as the end of the year is not a huge amount of time. The focus has to be on getting it right," he said.

[Link: Original Article]

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Categories: IVF, Victoria
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