- Next steps to better regulate assisted reproductive technology (ART) - including surrogacy
- ART services to be more accessible to Western Australians
- Better oversight of human embryo research in WA and continued ban on cloning for human reproduction
New laws to improve access to assisted reproductive technology (ART) are a step closer with the McGowan Government supporting recommendations from an expert panel.
The panel - appointed by Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson and chaired by Western Australian infertility treatment expert Professor Roger Hart - was charged with helping shape new ART policy following Dr Sonia Allan's 2019 review of the Western Australian Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and Surrogacy Act 2008.
The State Government has accepted recommendations from the expert panel to develop two new bills.
One will address matters related to ART procedures and treatments, and the second will focus on human embryo research under strict national licensing and regulations and a continued ban on cloning for human reproduction.
Fertility challenges are common, with 1 in 6 couples experiencing difficulties conceiving.
The proposed new ART legislation will expand eligibility for altruistic surrogacy to enable people in same-sex relationships including single men, transgender and intersex people to access surrogacy and permit reciprocal in vitro fertilisation. It is intended that the process for surrogacy in WA will also be streamlined.
There will also be changes to processes regulating licensed ART providers in WA and expanded options for genetic testing of embryos and posthumous use of gametes, reproductive tissue, and embryos.
The proposed legislation will also allow donor-conceived people to access information about their social and genetic heritage, regardless of when they were born, where records are available.
This important reform will give donor-conceived people a better sense of identity and knowledge about their genetic heritage. This can be critical for medical treatments and family planning.
WA will be the second Australian jurisdiction to implement this change.
The panel's final report and the State Government's response are available here.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"I thank the panel members for their hard work in developing these recommendations.
"They have provided valuable, professional insight into how to update our laws to better reflect contemporary opinions and advances in assisted reproductive technology.
"The State Government is committed to supporting people who wish to start or grow their family with assisted reproductive technology laws that are inclusive and safe.
"These reforms will be life changing for thousands of Western Australian families every year."
Minister's office - 6552 5900