Giving others the chance to have a family
Once couples and individuals undergoing IVF treatment complete their families, they may choose to donate their remaining embryos to another couple or individual. This may be for a variety of reasons, including:
- Not wanting to waste the embryos,
- Believing it is ethically preferable to donate rather than dispose of embryos,
- Feeling compassion for others struggling with infertility
Can an embryo donation help me?
If other fertility treatments have been unsuccessful (or are extremely unlikely to be successful), your fertility specialist may suggest embryo donation as an option for you.
If you decide to go down this path, you will be placed on the donor embryo waiting list following an initial counselling session with one of the embryo donation program counsellors.
The embryo donation program at Melbourne IVF is restricted to women aged 45 or less at the time of treatment. Currently the waiting time for allocation of embryos varies between six and 19 months.
Donating your embryos
Couples or individuals wanting to donate embryos are required to complete a Genetic and Medical Health Questionnaire. If you have a family history of serious medical or genetic conditions, a clinical geneticist will assess whether your embryos are suitable for donation.
Your embryos will also be assessed by a senior embryologist for their pregnancy potential and suitability for donation. If your embryos are suitable for donation you will be required to attend at least two counselling sessions to discuss the implications of donating your embryos. You will also be required to sign a consent form to donate your embryos.
You will also be required to undertake screening blood tests for infectious diseases and some genetic conditions.
Once the above process is completed your embryos are ready for allocation. Prior to allocation your counsellor will contact you and send you de-identified information regarding potential recipients.
Using embryos donated by others
If you want to become a recipient of donated embryos, you must have completed your own treatment, including having used any of your own frozen embryos in storage.
You will require at least two counselling sessions to discuss the social, legal and emotional implications of being a recipient of donor embryos, as well as screening blood tests. You will also be required to sign the relevant consent form.
Once you have been placed on the embryo donor waiting list, you will need to keep in contact with the donor program nurse every three months to confirm your wish to remain on the waiting list, and so we can ensure your contact details are current and correct.
When you are near the top of the waiting list, the embryo donor program nurse will contact you.
Once the above process is complete, you will be ready for an allocation of donor embryos. A member of the donor team will be in contact with you when a potential allocation is offered, and the donor’s de-identified information will be sent to you. If you accept the offer, the embryos will be allocated to you and treatment may commence.
Victorian Embryo Donation Laws
The Melbourne IVF Donor Program is guided by the legislative requirements under the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008.
A child born from a donated embryo is deemed to be the child of the birth mother.
Once a donor conceived child turns 18, they will be able to access certain information from Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Find out more about our embryo donation program
Phone our Embryo Donor Program Nurse on (03) 9473 4401
Contact us for further information on embryo donation...
Download our embryo donation booklet...