Australian Legislation for egg, sperm and embryo donation

It is illegal in Australia to sell sperm or eggs (or any human tissue). Unfortunately, couples desperate for a child have been known to fall victim to unscrupulous people offering to sell eggs. While it is considered normal for recipients to cover their donor's expenses, if anyone you approach to be a donor asks for payment beyond expenses, they should be avoided.

The second important point to understand is regarding parentage. The law considers a woman who gives birth to a child to be the mother of that child. It further considers the partner of that woman to be the father of the child. Donors can be assured that they will be under no legal or financial obligation to the child. Genea, however, does encourage recipients to include the donor in the child's life.

NSW legislation for egg, sperm and embryo donation

In January 2010, the New South Wales government introduced legislation regarding the use of donor gametes (sperm, eggs or embryos) called the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act.

Under this legislation, Genea is required to provide information to the NSW Ministry of Health for the Central Register regarding any baby who was born as a result of ART treatment using donated sperm, eggs or embryos or was born through surrogacy, and whose conception occurred after 1 January 2010.

We must also provide identifying information about the Donor who donated their sperm, eggs or embryo including :  

  • full name, residential address, date and place of birth;
  • ethnicity and physical characteristics;
  • any medical history or genetic test results of the donor or the donor’s family that are relevant to the future health of the person undergoing treatment involving the donated sperm, eggs or embryo, any offspring born as a result of that treatment or any descendent of any such offspring;
  • sex and year of birth of other offspring arising from the donation; and
  • name of every IVF clinic which has previously obtained donated sperm, eggs or embryo from the donor and the date on which the sperm, eggs or embryo were obtained.

Related links about Assisted Reproduction

The Department of Health website has information and fact sheets for donors, recipients and their offspring from donations before and after commencement of the Act.

Learn more