Egg or Sperm Donation

If you are using an egg or sperm donor for your surrogacy process, most agencies or REI doctors will require a legal contract to address the responsibilities of both the Intended/Recipient Parent(s) (IPs) and the donor. The contracts provide protection for all parties by detailing compensation and responsibilities and help clarify expectations. If you are seeking reproductive alternatives as a result of infertility issues, it is important that you consider a consultation with an experienced attorney. Infertility is an emotionally draining process which can leave you feeling vulnerable. Before agreeing to any arrangement or entering into any contracts with agencies or individuals, be sure you are considering all potential issues. Our attorneys can provide you with an objective evaluation of your circumstances and advise you as to your legal and financial risks. Alternative reproduction is an expensive process, much of which is rarely covered by insurance. We want you to know your potential obligations before proceeding with surrogacy. As the industry becomes more standardized, there are some typical items addressed in donor agreements. Harden Jackson can either draft and negotiate the contract(s) for you or review any existing contracts prior to execution.

The contract terms for IPs usually consist of terms detailing: payment to donor for pain and suffering as well as travel compensation (if applicable); disposition of genetic material (egg/sperm or embryos); and preferences for future contact between parties (some prefer anonymity) if there are any medical issues. It is customary for a third party (such as an attorney or agency) to have contact information for the donor, as contact is rarely made directly between the parties. Also, egg donor agreements typically contain terms identifying any insurance for medical complications for the donor.

The responsibilities of an egg donor include her availability and attendance at medical appointments. The donor must agree to comply with physicians’ orders and take necessary medications. Egg donors should also provide comprehensive, accurate medical information and the contract should include an outline of what happens if she fails to comply with the terms of the contract. For instance, agreements should specifically address what should occur if a donor has to reschedule a cycle. There is a medical protocol to sync cycles and specific medications are required. If working with an agency, before paying a retainer, you should confirm their terms for matching a new donor or providing a full or partial refund in the event there is an error or issue with your egg donor.

Donors are motivated for many reasons, but it is naïve not to accept that a motivating factor for many is compensation. Some donors may be deceptive or provide fraudulent information. Working with an experienced reproductive law attorney and a reputable agency can help reduce your risks.

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