Health

IVF importing deal to tackle egg shortage

Should a child sex offender be allowed to have IVF?

Australians undergoing IVF and competing for donor eggs that are in short supply will soon be able to import eggs from overseas donors.

A groundbreaking deal facilitated by the Monash IVF clinic gives Australian women using assisted reproduction access to the US-based World Egg Bank — the largest commercial frozen egg bank in the world.

The arrangements will significantly boost the number of donor eggs available to Australians, who are faced with a shortage of egg donors and are increasingly resorting to advertise for donors or travel overseas to buy eggs.

While many fertility clinics have arrangements with international sperm banks, Monash is said to be the first in Australia to facilitate the importation of eggs in accordance to local laws.

Australian laws mean donors cannot be paid for their eggs, but can be compensated between $3500 and $5000 for costs, and donors must supply identifying information to children allowing them to contact their donor, if they choose to, after they turn 18.

Donors can only donate six times and their eggs cannot be used to create more than 10 families.

Their photographs and all non-identifying information will be available to people choosing from the Bank’s portfolio of donors who are aged between 21-29 come from all sorts of backgrounds, may be married or single, have children, or may have never been pregnant.

The program is already available in Queensland where about 15 Queenslanders are in the process of using the bank, and will soon open up to Victorians.

“This is very exciting,” Dr Adrianne Pope — who manage the deal — told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We’ve been working on this now for more than 18 months.”

Dr Pope said Australians wanting to access donor eggs from the US would expect to pay about $19,000 to cover donation and shipping costs on top of usual IVF cycle costs, about $3500 after Medicare rebates.

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