Woman wins five-year extension for frozen embryos

The woman, now 46, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Before starting chemotherapy she began IVF, a process which involved storing 10 embryos from the gametes of her and her then partner of four years, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) said.

Victorian IVF laws ban embryo storage beyond five years with a possible prison sentence for noncompliance. That meant the woman had until April this year to unfreeze the embryos.

The woman’s partner went overseas in early 2010 to work. In August of that year she finished chemotherapy and began to prepare for IVF. In September the man told her he wanted to end the relationship.

The man did not respond to the woman’s requests via email and in person asking his permission to use the embryos.

In April 2013, as the five year storage was about to expire, the Victorian Patient Review Panel declined the woman’s request for a five year extension and instead gave her