An overview of assisted reproduction in Australia and directions for social research

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Public interest in assisted reproduction (AR) has remained high since the birth of the first 'test tube baby' in the United Kingdom in 1978. Australian scientists have been frontrunners in the development and implementation of reproductive technology and recently, there has been renewed debate about government funding and access to AR. This paper provides a timely overview of reproductive technology services in Australia and examines the body of social research on the impacts of this technology, particularly previous research on how women and their partners experience assisted reproduction procedures. The popular expectations of success are compared to the latest success rates. It is argued that there is a need for more social research to counterbalance the dominance of the biomedical aspects of AR, in particular, for more research into people's actual experiences of AR, expectations of the likelihood of success, access issues and on the general impact of involuntary childlessness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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