Project Updates

We are very pleased to announce the completion of the Enhancing Reproductive Opportunity Research Project Final Report, which can now be accessed in full below. This report represents the culmination of four years of research funded by the Australian Research Council and UTS:Law. The project examined how laws and policies in all Australian states and territories have affected people’s decisions about their stored embryos created through IVF. The research drew on the experiences of over 400 past and present IVF patients across Australia in over 20 different clinical sites, and spanning more than two decades.

Each of the links below takes you to a chapter of the report. If you want a quick summary of our findings and a list of our 57 recommendations then click on the link to our Executive Summary. For a more detailed account of a specific issue just click on the relevant chapter links below. Each chapter of the Report addresses a particular focus:

Acknowledgements and Content List

Executive Summary

Chapter 1 : Introduction to the Study

Chapter 2: Consent, Information Giving and Counselling

Chapter 3: Issues for Recipients of Donated Gametes

Chapter 4: Using the Embryo after Separation or Death

Chapter 5: Embryo Storage

Chapter 6: Embryo Destruction

Chapter 7: Embryo Donation for the Reproductive Use of Others

Chapter 8: Conclusion 

Appendix I: Participant Demographics

Appendix II: Survey Instrument



3/7/2012 – Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank  discusses some of our research findings and proposed recommendations at the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority’s (VARTA) Roundtable, ‘What to do with unused embryos’.

Click here to access Jenni’s presentation.

2/12/2011 – Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank presents some of our research findings on decision-making over stored embryos at the 14th World Congress on Human Reproduction.

Click here to access Jenni’s presentation.

2/12/2011 Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank discusses some  of our preliminary results and recommendations with Julie Robotham, Health Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Click here to access Julie Robotham’s article on 

14/9/2011 – Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank canvasses some of our recommendations for  changes to clinic consent processes and embryo disposition practices at Westmead Hospital’s Fertility Symposium.

Click here to access Jenni’s presentation.

11/8/2011 – Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank discusses some of our preliminary research findings and explores gaps and ambiguities in Australian ART regulation in an interview with Deb Cameron on ABC Radio 702 Sydney.

Click here to listen to Jenni’s interview online at  

9/8/2011 – Chief Investigator Isabel Karpin chats with Deb Cameron about the ‘fertility industry’ on ABC Radio 702 Sydney.

Click here to listen to Isabel’s interview online at

15/7/2011 – Chief Investigator Isabel Karpin considers some of the more troubling aspects of current ART legislation in Australia in an interview with U: Magazine.

Isabel also discusses some of our preliminary research findings on participants’ experiences of, and feelings about, gamete and embryo donation. Click here and flick to p14 to read Isabel’s interview.

4/6/2011 – Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank reflects on some of our preliminary findings on participant attitudes towards posthumous reproduction in her opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Click here to link to Jenni’s piece on

25/5/2011 – Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank reviews the different laws governing the posthumous use of gametes and embryos across Australia in an interview with Richard Aedy on Life Matters, ABC Radio National.

Click here to access the mp3 online at

11/3/2011 – Expert Interdisciplinary Workshop on ART and Reproductive Opportunity

On 11 March 2011, the Enhancing Reproductive Opportunity Project hosted an interdisciplinary workshop on ART and reproductive opportunity with key experts from the UK, USA, NZ and Australia.

Key speakers included:

  • Emily Jackson, Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (UK). Emily discussed some of the policy and regulatory challenges that are being confronted through HFEA’s community consultation on sperm and egg donation.  Click here to download Professor Jackson’s presentation;
  • Richard Storrow, Professor of Law at the City University of New York.  Richard presented on the legal hazards associated with cross-border reproductive care. Click here to download Professor Storrow’s presentation.
  • Ken Daniels, Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury and former Deputy Chair of the Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (NZ). Ken spoke on contemporary NZ policies on donor conception, in particular the on-donation of embryos created through donated gametes. Click here to download Ken’s presentation;
  • Joel Bernstein, Medical Director of Fertility East. Joel discussed contemporary NSW ART regulation from a practitioner’s perspective. Click here to download Dr Bernstein’s presentation; and
  • Jenni Millbank, Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney. Jenni presented some of the Enhancing Reproductive Opportunity project’s preliminary findings. Click here to download Jenni’s presentation.

We were also privileged to have the following experts in the field join us:

  • Angela Ballantyne, Senior Lecturer, University of Otago;
  • Belinda Bennett, Professor of Law,  University of Sydney;
  • Denyse Bernstein, Scientific Coordinator of Donor Eggs Australia;
  • Michael Chapman, Fertility Specialist at IVF Australia & Chair of the IVF Directors Group;
  • Melinda Cooper from the University of Sydney;
  • Chris Copeland, Scientific Director of Canberra Fertility Centre;
  • Louise Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority;
  • Maggie Kirkman, Senior Research Fellow, Monash University;
  • Ken Maclean, Sydney IVF;
  • Brenda McGivern from the University of Western Australia;
  • Bernadette Richards from the University of Adelaide;
  • Iolanda Rodino, Perth IVF;
  • Kathy Sanders, University of Western Australia;
  • Kristin Savell, Professor of Law, University of Sydney;
  • Christine Singleton, Infertility Counsellor,  Sydney IVF;

The day was a real success, bringing together expertise from around the globe, establishing a future network for research collaboration, and providing an invaluable forum for us to test our preliminary research findings and suggestions for potential regulatory and practice changes!  Thank you to all who were involved!

6/3/2011 – Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank & the Enhancing Reproductive Opportunity Project in the news!

Chief Investigator Jenni Millbank is interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald writer Rachel Browne on frozen embryo disposition practices in Australia. Click here to link to Jenni’s interview on

17/9/2010 – The Enhancing Reproductive Opportunity project features in Lawyers Weekly. Click here to access the article.