Assisted reproductive treatment legislation
There is legislation which governs the practice and provision of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) in South Australia. The Minister for Health is responsible for overseeing this legislation.
The Act that governs the provision of assisted reproductive treatment is the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988, which operates in conjunction with the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Regulations 2010.
Changes to the Act came into effect on 1 September 2010. To ensure that those changes were evaluated over time, the Government included a requirement that the operation and effectiveness of the Act be reviewed after the fifth anniversary of the changes to the Act. The review of the Act is now due.
Consultation is open from the 19 January to 15 April 2016.
Other relevant legislation
Other legislation relevant to assisted reproductive treatment in South Australia includes the:
- Family Relationships Act 1975 - refers to surrogacy and parenting
- Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996
- Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 - deals with the use of excess ART embryos
Legislation in other Australian jurisdictions
Legislation currently exists to govern ART in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, however the nature of the governance regimes in each of these states varies.
There is no Commonwealth legislation in respect of ART practice. States and territories without specific legislation rely on the Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee accreditation scheme which sets standards for practice and requires compliance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Ethical Guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research.
Further information relating to how treatment is regulated, see:
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- National Health and Medical Research Council
- Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee
For further information about fertility services in South Australia, see the Fertility services page.
Assisted reproductive treatment (ART) was previously governed in South Australia by the Reproductive Technology (Clinical Practices) Act (SA) 1988. The Act set out licence provisions, access to treatment, record keeping and confidentiality provisions.
The Act also established the South Australian Council on Reproductive Technology (SACRT) to advise the Minister for Health on the medical, social, scientific, ethical, legal, and moral issues arising from assisted reproductive technologies and treatment.
Under the legislation, the functions of the SACRT were to:
- formulate a code of ethical practice to govern artificial fertilisation procedures
- provide advice to the Minister on conditions, licenses, and issues relating to reproductive technology
- promote research and understanding of the causes of human infertility and ethical and social issues arising from reproductive technology.
The SACRT was required under the Reproductive Technology (Clinical Practices) Act 1988 to provide annual reports to the Minister for Health. These annual reports are available upon request.
In 2010, the regulation of Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) in South Australia underwent significant changes. Parliament passed the Reproductive Technology (Clinical Practices) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2009 to amend the Reproductive Technology (Clinical Practices) Act 1988.
The Reproductive Technology (Clinical Practices) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2009 (Amendment Act) commenced on 1 September 2010 and as part of the amendments the RT Act became known as the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 (ART Act). The ART Act is committed to the Minister for Health.
The Reproductive Technology (Code for Ethical Clinical Practice) Regulations 1995 have been repealed and replaced with the Assisted Reproductive Regulations 2010.
The ART Act details the registration requirements for ART providers, including eligibility criteria, mandatory conditions of registration, mechanics of removal from Register and reinstatement on Register. It also provides for a donor conception register, and has record keeping and confidentiality provisions.
Ethics Health Advisory Council
Due to the changes within the Act, the SACRT no longer exists. An Ethics Health Advisory Council (HAC) will provide advice to the Minister on health related ethical issues, including ART. Its rules were Gazetted in January 2010. For more details about the Ethics HAC, its function and its membership:
For furthern information on Ethics Health Advisory Councils contact
Level 10, 11 Hindmarsh Square Adelaide