In 2002 the Attorney-General asked the Commission to look at laws governing access to assisted reproductive technology (ART), how the law should recognise parents and how surrogacy should be regulated.
In 2003, the Commission published a consultation paper and received 255 submissions. In 2004, the Commission also published three occasional papers by experts on comparative legislative approaches, outcomes for children born through ART in diverse families and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Three position papers were released in 2005 that made interim recommendations on the areas of access to reproductive technologies, surrogacy and recognition of parents.
The Commission received over 1000 written submissions from a broad range of groups and individuals. The Commission also held roundtable consultations and other events. It was assisted by an advisory committee that provided specialist advice.
The final report was tabled in Parliament on 7 June 2007. The Commission made 130 recommendations for a more inclusive approach to the regulation of assisted reproductive technology and adoption that would be guided by the principle of the best interest of the child.
The relevant publications can be requested from the Commission or downloaded from the links below.
In 2008, the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act (ART Act) was passed, implementing most of the Commission’s recommendations.
In 2012, the Victorian Parliament Law Reform Committee held an inquiry into access to information by donor-conceived individuals. In response, the government introduced the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Further Amendment Act 2014. These amendments encouraged donors to consent, but do not allow donor-conceived individuals access to identifying information without the donor’s consent. This response is consistent with the Commission’s recommendation on the issue in its final report.
In October 2015 the government introduced the Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2015 to enable same-sex couples to adopt in Victoria, as recommended by the VLRC in the ART report. The Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Act came into effect on 1 September 2016.