Sperm retrieval after death
An in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) organisation must be involved to retrieve sperm from a deceased person. Queensland Health cannot recommend specific IVF organisations or advise what services an organisation provides.
It is recommended that applicants obtain their own legal advice. Queensland Health does not provide applicants with legal advice.
The previous guidelines were removed from the website following a decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 20 June 2018.
These guidelines are intended to help a person (the applicant) who wishes to arrange removal of sperm from a deceased family member for the purpose of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Part 3 of the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 (Qld) deals with donations of tissue after death. The removal of sperm for IVF can be authorised, without Court approval, in accordance with Part 3 of the Act.
If the death is, or may be, reportable under the Coroners Act 2003 (Qld), the consent of the coroner is also needed before sperm can be removed.
The applicant should seek assistance from an IVF organisation with trained medical and/or technical staff available out of hours (if necessary), who are able to remove, process and store the sperm, testis or other tissue as necessary.
Staff at the mortuary where the deceased is held should be informed about the possibility of sperm donation as soon as possible. Mortuaries would usually require a staff member to be present and to assist personnel from an IVF organisation attending to remove sperm.
Mortuaries at hospitals
Contact via the hospital switchboard.
Mortuary at Forensic and Scientific Services (located at Coopers Plains in Brisbane)
Office hours +61 7 3096 2782
Out of hours +61 403 449 613
State Coroner and other Coroners at the Coroners Court of Queensland
1300 304 605
Office hours +61 7 3738 7050
Out of hours +61 7 3738 7166