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Legal Considerations of Egg Donation
When considering egg donation, it is important for potential parents to understand the legalities at play between themselves and egg donors. Our team at Fertility Center of San Antonio can review your options for legal counsel that can act as an intermediary between you and your egg donor. Your counsel can also establish a written donation agreement, which is critical in protecting your interests and preventing future legal battles that can jeopardize your parental rights. Our San Antonio, TX, team has spent over 25 years helping our patients deal with the complicated egg donor process and can ensure you understand the legal considerations of egg donation.
Legal Rights of Egg Donors and Recipients in Texas
Under Texas state law, a woman who donates her eggs has no legal property rights to those eggs. She also does not have any right to offspring that may develop from her eggs. Although the law is on the side of potential parents receiving eggs, it is strongly advised that an attorney helps you create a donation agreement that is unique to your situation to protect your parental rights.
Protecting Your Interests
Your donation agreement should be comprehensive and include specific issues, such as measures for disposition or donation of frozen embryos. The boundaries of your egg donor’s relationship with the child, which is typically an issue only with known donors, should also be made clear. Keep in mind that every egg donation process is different. A properly drafted donation agreement can provide peace of mind for the future.
Known Donor Agreements
Many couples prefer to use the egg of a loved one due to safety issues and, if the donor is a family member, to establish a genetic connection with the child. Because known donors are usually a trusted person, it is assumed that there is less of a risk for legal complications. In some cases, potential parents may forego crafting a written agreement.
Donation agreements are important with known donors in case the friend or family member changes her mind about her role in the child’s life.
Later, the trusted family member may have a change of heart regarding their relationship with the child. They may wish to play a larger role in the child’s life than originally intended, or raise custody issues. To avoid these legal entanglements, it is highly recommended that legal consultation be sought in creating a donation arrangement.
Drafting Your Agreement
When creating your contract, be sure to:
- Read everything very carefully. Some agreements may not be applicable to your situation. For example, if you are a same-sex couples, you may have different requirements than heterosexual couples.
- Draw up a personalized consent form. The consent forms provided at a clinic are not specifically designed for your situation, which can potentially compromise your parental rights. Similarly, template agreements found online are generic and can open you up to future liability.
- Have separate legal representation for each party. An agreement drawn up by counsel to both sides may hold less weight in court.
- Remember the spouse. If the donor has a spouse, they should be included in the process since their emotional wellbeing will come into play and may affect parental rights down the road.
Learn More about Your Rights
Egg donation is still a relatively new process. As such, the legal consideration are constantly evolving. Our team at Fertility Center of San Antonio can make sure you understand your rights and are protected against future issues, as well as walk you through selecting a donor. Call us today at (210) 361-9904, or use our online system to send us a message.
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