There has been a significant increase in the number of women using IVF and other assisted reproduction procedures in recent months, according to a media report today. This is because the law in Victoria has allowed for Medicare rebates for women who are not infertile to use such procedures since January 2010.

The report reveals that almost 500 single women and lesbians used IVF and other fertility treatments in Victoria last year. ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace is quoted as saying he was “opposed to single and lesbian women having equal access to taxpayer funds for IVF”, but much more can be said on the matter.

A child’s need to know his or her genetic heritage is basic to his or her human nature. The Australian Senate acknowledged this in its inquiry into donor conception practices, recommending that donor anonymity be prohibited so that children can access information about their biological parents. Children have a fundamental right to be born from natural human origins and, if at all possible, to know and be raised by their biological mother and father.

Just as the desire to nurture a child is entirely natural for a mother, so is the desire of a child to know his or her biological parents. In some cases this is clearly not possible, such as through death or desertion. But where it is possible to avoid the situation of a child growing up in a fatherless or motherless home, the child’s rights should be considered as paramount and put before the rights of adults, regardless of their strong desire for children.

The Australian Christian Lobby is opposed to surrogacy, IVF, and other methods used to allow single women or men and same-sex couples to obtain children, and opposes Medicare funding of such measures. ACL believes that a child has a natural right to know his or her mum and dad, and to be raised in a home with the complementary love, care and role-modelling of a mother and father.