Police checks for IVF patients to be scrapped – The Age

"Clinics gave us feedback that this was the biggest issue their clients were complaining to them about, the most common concern that was raised," said Ms Mikakos.

In submissions to the independentReview of Assisted Reproductive Treatment completed by Michael Gorton last July, police checks were the second most common issue of concern raised by patients behind cost.

Ms Mikakos said "a lot has changed on the legislative landscape" since police checks were introduced, including upgraded child protection and mandatory family violence reporting laws that displaced the need for checks.

Between 2012 and this year, 180 criminal record checks of would-be parents were considered by the Patient Review Panel, and treatment was denied to12 of them. About 25,000 Victorians embark on assisted reproductive treatment each year.

Former IVF patient Katherine Williams, who has polycystic ovary syndrome, said while she could understand the reasoning behind police checks for herself and her husband, "I felt it was unnecessary and I felt it was demeaning".

"You're already feeling quite worthless, or like a failure to society because you can't do this thing that everyone else has been so easily able to do, and then you have to sit there and prove that you're good enough," said Ms Williams, who now has a 14-month-old son, Lincoln.

She said patients were not given enough information about what type of information was being collected or what could affect their application, which made the process even more arduous.

"What if you were arrested in your youth at a rally for the environment or women's rights? There were never any guidelines of what they were doing with this information and what could stop you going ahead with this [IVF]."

Health Minister Ms Mikakos said clinics would still be required to consider the welfare of any child born by assisted reproductive technology before proceeding with treatment.

"They will still be able to refuse treatment if they reasonably believe the child to be born may be at risk of abuse of neglect," she said.

The removal of the checks would make the potentially "life-changing" experience of IVF smoother for 25,000 Victorians a year: "These checks take weeks ... this will remove delays and mean for people [applying for IVF], that rollercoaster of emotions, we will make their journey easier and less anguished by removing this additional hurdle they've had to jump through until now," Ms Mikakos said.

Wendy Tuohy is Lifestyle editor.

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Police checks for IVF patients to be scrapped - The Age

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