Assisted Reproductive Technology and Adoption: Terms of Reference

In 2002, the Attorney-General set the terms of reference for the Commission’s inquiry into Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Adoption. 

1. The Victorian Law Reform Commission is to enquire and report on the desirability and feasibility of changes to the Infertility Treatment Act 1995 and the Adoption Act 1984 to expand eligibility criteria in respect of all or any forms of assisted reproduction and adoption; and make the recommendations for any consequential amendments which should be made to the:

  • Status of Children Act 1974
  • Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996
  • Human Tissue Act 1982
  • Equal Opportunity Act 1995
  • any other relevant Victorian legislation

2. In making its enquiry and report, the Commission should take into account, to the extent it decides is necessary or desirable:

(i) social, ethical and legal issues related to assisted reproduction and adoption, with particular regard to the rights and best interests of children;

(ii) the public interest and the interests of, parents, single people and people in same-sex relationships, infertile people and donors of gametes;

(iii) the nature of, and issues raised by arrangements and agreements relating to methods of conception other than sexual intercourse and other assisted reproduction in places licensed under the Infertility Treatment Act 1995 (the Act);

(iv) the penalties applicable to persons, including medical and other personnel, involved in the provision of assisted reproduction (whether through a licensed clinic or otherwise); and

(v) the laws relating to eligibility criteria for assisted reproduction and adoption and other related matters which apply in other states or countries and any evidence on the impact of such laws on the rights and best interests of children and the interests of parents, single people, people in same sex relationships, infertile people and donors of gametes.

3. In addition, the Commission should consider whether changes should be made to the Act to reflect rapidly changing technology in the area of assisted reproduction.

4. The Commission is also requested to consider the meaning and efficacy of sections 8, 20 and 59 in relation to altruistic surrogacy, and clarification of the legal status of any child born of such an arrangement.

In making its report the Commission should consider the relationship between changes to Victorian legislation and any relevant Commonwealth legislation including the Family Law Act 1975 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 as well as any International conventions and instruments to which Australia is a signatory.

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