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Enhancing Reproductive Opportunity in Australia: Reconsidering Consent, Altruism and the Legal Status of Embryos in ART Processes

Funding: 2009: $114,000
2010: $70,000
2011: $120,000

Project Member(s): Millbank, J., Stuhmcke, A., Karpin, I.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2009

Summary: This project examines whether current modes of regulation improperly limit reproductive opportunities available to prospective parents. The project will identify barriers to the use of donated gametes and of stored embryos and explore the ethics and practical utility of a wide range of alternative approaches drawn from Australian and overseas experience. We will also consider the creation of a unique form of legal status for embryos and a specific dispute resolution system to deal with conflicting interests in embryos. The major focus of the project is on crafting responsive flexible regimes to enhance reproductive opportunities; it is not to compel, coerce or commercialise reproductive practices.


Millbank, J 2017, 'Reflecting the ‘Human Nature’ of IVF Embryos: Disappearing Women in Ethics, Law, and Fertility Practice', Journal of Law and the Biosciences, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 70-93.
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Stuhmcke, AG 2015, 'Extra-Territoriality and Surrogacy: The Problem of State and Territory Moral Sovereignty' in Gerber, P & O'Byrne, K (eds), Surrogacy, Law and Human Rights, Ashgate Publishing Limited, England, pp. 65-80.

Stuhmcke, AG 2015, 'New wine in old bottles and old wine in new bottles: The judicial response to international commercial surrogacy in the UK and Australia' in Horsey, K (ed), Revisiting the Regulation of Human Fertilisation and Embryology, Routledge, Oxon, pp. 200-215.

Millbank, J 2015, 'Rethinking "Commercial" Surrogacy in Australia', Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 477-490.
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Karpin, I & Millbank, J 2014, 'Regulation of assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy in Australia' in Eekelaar, J & George, R (eds), Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy, Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 201-214.
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Millbank, J 2014, 'Numerical Limits in Donor Conception Regimes: Genetic Links and Extended Family in the Era of Identity Disclosure.', The Medical Law review, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 325-356.
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Chandler, ER, Millbank, J, Stuhmcke, AG & Karpin, IA 2013, 'Rethinking Consent, Information Giving and Counselling Concerning Stored Embryos in IVF treatment', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 759-772.

Karpin, IA, Stuhmcke, AG, Millbank, J & Chandler, ER 2013, 'Analysing IVF Participant Understanding of, Involvement in, and Control over Embryo Storage and Destruction in Australia', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 811-830.

Millbank, J, Chandler, ER, Karpin, IA & Stuhmcke, AG 2013, 'Embryo Donation for Reproductive Use in Australia', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 789-810.

Stuhmcke, AG, Karpin, IA, Chandler, ER & Millbank, J 2013, 'Use of Stored Embryos in IVF Following Separation or Death of a Partner', Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 773-788.

Karpin, IA 2012, 'The Legal and Relational Identity of the 'Not-Yet' Generation', Law, Innovation and Technology, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 122-143.

Keywords: Reproductive opportunity, Assisted reproductive technologies, Law Reform, Health and Medical Law, Gamete donation, Embryo donation,

FOR Codes: Law and Society, Family Law, Law not elsewhere classified, Justice and the law not elsewhere classified, Women’s health, Bioethics, Women's Health, Civil Justice