Donor Assisted Conception

Donor assisted conception is a way of having a family using donated sperm, eggs or embryos. Donors may be known or unknown to the recipients. 

Only altruistic (unpaid) donation is permitted in Western Australia. It is legal to advertise for an altruistic donor and reasonable expenses can be reimbursed. 

Counselling is a required part of the donation process to inform effective consent from donors and recipients. Known donors must have counselling separately and with the participants prior to consent. There is a three-month cooling off period prior to use of the gametes/ embryos and in exceptional circumstances, this can be waivered by applying to the Reproductive Technology Council (Council). 

In Western Australia, donors are limited to a maximum of five families through donation (excluding their own). There are no limits to the number of children conceived with the same donor within these five families. Council may consider a request to waive the five-family limit in exceptional circumstances. 

Non-identifying and identifying information about donors and recipient cycles are sent to the Department of Health Reproductive Technology Treatment Registers. 

A person conceived with the assistance of a donor, from 2004 onwards, has the right to access identifying information about their donor once they have reached 16 years of age.  

Donors may access identifying information where there is consent from all parties. 

The Donor Conception Information Service (DCIS) is designed to support and provide information to people who are donor conceived or participants in donor conception through a licenced fertility clinic in Western Australia. 

Other websites that contain useful information on donor conception are listed below. Some websites include registers for donor linkage if your treatment was in another state or country. 

Donor Conceived Australia (external website) 

Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (external website) 

New Zealand Government – fertility issues and assisted reproduction (external site) 

NSW Government-Assisted reproductive technology – Central Registers (external website) 

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, United Kingdom (external website) 

Reciprocal IVF (also known as egg sharing) refers to an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) practice in same sex female couples where both parents can be involved in the conception of the baby. One partner carries the pregnancy and the other provides the egg, which is fertilised with donor sperm.

The transfer of an embryo formed with a partner’s egg, in female same-sex relationships is not usually permitted in Western Australia unless the partner who will carry the pregnancy (in the case of de facto relationships) or the couple (in the case of married couples) meets the IVF access criteria in the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991.

It is best to seek advice from your clinician about your medical eligibility for IVF.

Western Australia laws in relation to assisted reproductive technology are being reviewed New assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy legislation for WA (