What Are My Rights if I Use a Donor Egg?
Egg donation is a fertility treatment in which an egg is obtained from another person. Because the egg comes from someone other than the intended parent, it can leave individuals and couples considering egg donation with many questions.
At the Los Angeles Reproductive Center, Drs. Marc Kalan, Nurit Winkler, and their team work closely with patients to relieve their concerns about egg donation and the legal considerations of egg donation in Encino, CA, Bakersfield, CA, Los Angeles, CA, and surrounding areas.
What Is Egg Donation?
Egg donation is a type of fertility treatment in which an egg, or oocyte, is harvested from a donor. Once retrieved, the egg is fertilized in a laboratory using the sperm of a donor or the intended father. The resulting embryo is then transferred into either the intended mother’s uterus or that of a gestational surrogate.
California Is an Assisted-Reproduction Friendly State
The state of California is considered friendly in regard to assisted reproduction rights and has laws in place intended to protect parents who have children through assisted reproduction, including egg donation.
However, each state has different laws regarding parental rights and assisted reproduction, so it’s important to consult a legal professional with an understanding of fertility law when considering egg donation.
Establishing Parental Rights
One of the most important considerations of egg donation is establishing parental rights through an egg donor contract or donor agreement. This is to establish that the child born from the donor egg is the legal child of the intended parents. The contract must also establish that consent to the donation and reproductive treatment is voluntary and informed.
Generally, in the state of California, donors do not retain any legal rights or responsibilities to children conceived from their donated eggs or sperm when a strong donor agreement is in place.
When creating a donor agreement, it is important that the donation arrangement is clear and that everyone involved understands their rights and responsibilities. Because donor agreements play such an important role in both the donation process and parental rights, it’s strongly recommended that those considering egg donation consult with an attorney experienced in fertility law.
Considerations for Known Donor Agreements
Sometimes the egg donor is a known friend or family member. This can lead some intended parents to skip creating a formal contract. Although it may seem fine, and it can be, it can lead to complications later on in the child’s life, particularly if the known donor decides they want parental rights.
Establishing boundaries and parental rights in a legal document is an important step even with known donors that can help protect the intended parents’ rights and prevent problems that can affect relationships between a known donor and the intended parents.
Learn More About Egg Donation
If you are considering egg donation and would like more information about the process and procedure, or if you would like to discuss other fertility treatment options, we welcome you to contact our practice to schedule a consultation at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center.