Assisted reproductive technology are treatments or procedures that address fertility. It can include artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilisation or gamete intrafallopian transfer as well as any other related treatments or procedures.


The Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2007 (ART Act) regulates many of the ethical and social aspects of assisted reproductive technology. The objects of the ART Act are to:

  • prevent the commercialisation of human reproduction
  • protect the interests of
    • a person born as a result of ART treatment
    • a person providing a gamete for use in ART treatment or for research in connection with ART treatment
    • a woman undergoing ART treatment.

The ART Act aims to achieve these objectives by

  • requiring ART Providers to be registered with the NSW Ministry of Health
  • setting core standards for the provision of ART treatment.

Standards for the provision of ART treatment

Under the terms of the ART Act:

  • gametes can only be used in a manner consistent with the gamete provider's consent, so people retain control over the use of their own genetic material
  • gametes cannot be donated anonymously
  • children born as a result of ART treatment can access information on the Central Register once they turn 18 years of age
  • ART providers are required to place information about donors on a Central Register
  • the Central Register operates prospectively, from the commencement of the ART Act in January 2010, and provides a Voluntary Register for offspring born prior to the commencement of the ART Act
  • ART providers are required to keep ART records for 50 years, and 75 years for pre-2010 records
  • destruction and falsification of ART records is an offence.

Transitional arrangements apply to women who had already conceived a child using donated gametes prior to the commencement of the ART Act, or had embryos in storage that were created prior to the commencement of the ART Act using donated gametes, to enable them to complete their families without the full effect of the ART Act applying.

The Central Register

The ART Act and Regulation established the Central Register to hold information about donors, and children conceived after1 January 2010 as a result of ART treatment using donated gametes (sperm and ova).

Different rules apply for people conceived prior to 1 January 2010 as a result of ART treatment using donated gametes, or people born after 1 January 2010 who fall within transitional arrangements.

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The Surrogacy Act 2010 provides a framework for the Supreme Court to grant orders that transfer the full legal parentage of children from their birth parent/s to the intended parent/s under a surrogacy arrangement. The legislation sets out the requirements for the reporting of children born using a surrogate including the making of parentage orders.

Intended parents must now register information about themselves, their child and the surrogate, as well as any person who donated eggs or sperm or embryos, with the Central Register before the NSW Supreme Court will make a parentage order.

For more information refer to Surrogacy.

Current as at: Tuesday 15 August 2023
Contact page owner: Private Health Care