Considering Donor Eggs and Embryos

What Are the Legal Issues?

There are many legal issues that surround egg and embryo donation. For any procedure, written consent should be obtained. In some cases, you may need to have legal counsel and sign a legal contract that defines the financial obligations and rights of the donor with respect to the donated eggs or embryos. Although the laws vary from state to state, donors will typically sign away the rights to any children born as a result of the use of their eggs (or sperm).
However, it's important to note that egg and embryo donation is a controversial issue, from both an ethical and a legal standpoint. Therefore, informed consent and counseling should be provided to both the donors of the embryos and the recipient couple to cover all of the possible issues that embryo donation might bring up.
Also, if you are considering egg and embryo donation, it may be a good idea to consult with legal counsel regarding the necessity of a predonation agreement.

Final Thoughts

For many couples, the chance to have a child through egg or embryo donation can be a wonderful opportunity to make their dreams of parenthood a reality. However, these donor options can be complex, and it's important to understand the many factors that are associated with this process, including emotional effects, financial costs, and the physical processes involved.
Anyone who chooses to go through egg or embryo donation should understand the screening and counseling that may be required to help you cope with the process. Ethical, moral, and legal issues may need to be addressed, and you may need to retain legal counsel to help ensure the process will move forward as smoothly as possible. However, those who choose this road to parenthood may find that holding that baby in their arms is worth all the obstacles they have had to overcome.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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