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 dispose of the embryos,
- Believing it is ethically preferable to donate rather than dispose of embryos,
- Feeling compassion for others struggling with infertility
- Can 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 Melbourne IVF Embryo Donation Program is available to women until their 51st Birthday
- 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 need to attend a Donor Information Seminar to discuss the legal and ethical implications of embryo donation. This is an obligation free seminar, to register please contact the Donor Embryo Team on 1800 111 483. Following this session you will be required to attend further one on one counselling and 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.
- Can I be paid to donate my embryos to the clinic?
In Victoria, donating embryos is an altruistic act and it is illegal to pay a donor to donate.
However you can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred during the process of donating. Melbourne IVF will reimburse reasonable expenses with a proof of receipt. The donor will only be reimbursed if accepted into the program and after consents have been signed.
- 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 and join the waiting list.
When you are near the top of the waiting list the embryo program nurse will contact you to arrange your counselling.
Once the above process is complete, you will be ready for an allocation of donor embryos. You will receive the donor’s non-identifying profile to view. Please note we cannot provide treatment after the females 51st birthday and any remaining embryos after this age will be relinquished back to the donor program.
- Victorian embryo donation laws
The Melbourne IVF Donor Program is guided by the legislative requirements under the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008.
The child born from a donated embryo is deemed to be the child of the birth mother and partner (if applicable).
Once a donor conceived child turns 18, they will be able to access certain information from Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority.