Egg and Sperm Donation
If you are an Intended Parent, Egg Donor, Sperm Donor, or same sex couple wishing to have a child using donor egg(s) or sperm, I can provide you with experienced, timely, and personalized service. I have been helping people build families through egg and sperm donation and surrogacy for over 20 years and offer my clients a vast breadth of experience. I have represented married, single, and same sex clients using egg, embryo, and sperm donation in order to build a family.
It is important that Donors and Intended Parents who are entering into an egg or sperm donor arrangement have an attorney draft an agreement that clearly states the intentions of all the parties and that clearly states that the Donor does not intend to parent any resulting child(ren) nor want to have physical or legal custody of any resulting child(ren). In most cases the Donor remains anonymous and the parties’ names are kept confidential. If the Intended Parents and/or Donor do wish to have some kind of future contact, then the Donor Agency should be notified and the attorney clearly state the circumstances of any future contact in the Donor Agreement.
California has recognized the parental rights of Intended Parents using Donor eggs and sperm in cases where the recipient mother carries the child(ren) and in cases where a gestational carrier carries the child(ren) for Intended Parents.
I currently practice almost exclusively in family formation law and have over 20 years of experience. I will personally and promptly handle your cases from start to finish. I will be available to consult with you and answer your questions regarding egg, sperm, and embryo donation and the law throughout the process. I will draft your contract (or review a contract provided by an agency or another attorney); negotiate the changes with the other party’s attorney and revise the contract to reflect the final agreement of the parties and then send a clearance letter to the fertility clinic so that the medical process at the clinic can begin.
Both Intended Parents and Donors should have separate legal representation. This protects the rights of Intended Parents should the Donor try to assert parental rights at any time and ensures that the Donor fully knows her/his/their legal rights and responsibilities when entering into the Agreement. I advise my clients to use an experienced agency to manage the egg donation. However, many people, due to financial constraints or other reasons, choose to work together independently. I am happy to represent clients in both situations.
TIME LINE & STEPS TO EGG DONATION
- Select Donor either on own or through Donor Agency
- Review and negotiate Donor Agency contract
- Medical and Psychological Screening of Donor
- Obtain Donor’s Medical Insurance
- Draft Donor Agreement (or review agreement provided by Donor Agency)
- Other party reviews Donor Agreement with attorney
- Negotiate Changes and make final revisions to Donor Agreement
- Execute Donor Agreement
- Send legal clearance letter to Clinic
- Intended Parents set up and fund escrow account
- Donor starts medications
- Egg Extraction Procedure
SAME SEX PARTNERS
If you are a same sex couple who desires to have a child where one partner’s egg is used and the other partner carries the child I will draft a co-parenting agreement that is carefully tailored to your personal situation stating your intention to raise the child(ren) together with equal legal rights and responsibilities towards the child(ren). In addition, I recommend that my clients register as domestic partners in order to have the added protection this statute offers to ensure their parental rights. I will also draft the pleadings and file them with the court in order to obtain a pre-birth order that declares both parents as the legal parents of the child(ren) and directs the hospital to have both parents’ names put on the child(ren)’s birth certificate. Same sex couples may also be advised to go through a step-parent adoption to further protect their rights as equal parents of the child(ren).
California Family Code Section 7613(b) states that the donor of semen provided to a licensed physician and surgeon or to a licensed sperm bank for use in artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization of a woman other than the donor’s wife is treated in law as if he were NOT the natural father of a child thereby conceived.
If a sperm donor is working with an agency or medical facility that already has its own donor agreements, it should be reviewed by legal counsel. If they have no agreement, I will draft the agreement for you. In order to protect the donor from future claims for child support the agreement should specify that the purpose of the agreement is the provision of sperm from the donor to the recipient, so that the recipient may conceive and bear a child or children to be raised by the recipient and clearly articulate the donor’s intent to relinquish all parental rights and responsibilities related to all children so conceived and state the recipient’s intent to release the donor from all parental rights and responsibilities regarding all children so conceived.
I will draft your agreement to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of all parties are protected in the sperm donation process.