Australia's first ever public egg and sperm bank has opened in Victoria, and aims to recruit donors for patients eligible for publicly funded fertility treatment.
The egg and sperm bank is part of a clinic that opened in October 2022, which is part of a larger $120 million initiative, aimed at making fertility treatments, including IVF, more accessible. It opened on 2 July 2023 and is now accepting altruistic donations, as it is illegal in Australia to be paid for gamete donation. The initiative includes the introduction of satellite fertility services throughout the state.
Premier Daniel Andrews said, 'Helping someone start their family is one of the most generous gifts you could give someone, and our new public egg and sperm bank will help even more Victorians, do just that'.
Potential donors will need to meet a number of requirements in order to donate. This includes counselling to ensure they understand the implications associated with donation, as anonymous donation is illegal in Australia.
The service will help those who need fertility treatment due to genetic conditions, previous cancer treatment, inability to conceive naturally, LGBTQI+ people and same-sex couples, and individuals hoping to parent on their own. A referral will be needed by the patients GP or specialist to access fertility treatment and eggs or sperm.
By Jake Knox, read more