Understanding Egg Donor Agreements


If you are considering donating eggs or are an intended parent contemplating the use of donor eggs, it’s important to understand the legalities and regulations that surround the process. Burdensome as egg donor agreements may seem, they are in place to protect the rights of the donor, the IPs and any future children.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

It’s up to the individuals involved, but it’s wise for all parties to have an attorney represent their interests. Gestational surrogacy is complex and involves many parties. Legal parties can include intended parents, an egg donor, a sperm donor, a gestational carrier and their spouses.

Some states disagree on who the legal parents are and what rights each individual has in the absence of a legal document. So even if your state doesn’t require a contract, it’s sensible to get a signed legal agreement on the table.

What Questions Should Be Answered by the Agreement?

  • What happens to unused embryos? Determine who has the right to decide if they can be used for research, donated to a third party or disposed of.
  • Whose insurance pays for what? The IP’s insurance is usually expected to cover cycle medications and retrieval, but what about any associated side effects or illness?
  • How will the donor be compensated? The agreement should specify if the funds are to be kept in escrow, who will administer the escrow account and when disbursements are due.
  • What is the egg donor being paid for? For the most part egg donors can only be compensated for their time, suffering, inconvenience, etc. They may not legally receive payment in exchange for genetic material.
  • What expenses are covered? Common expenses include travel, lost wages, lodging. Detail what documentation is required for reimbursement and whether the donor be provided a cancellation fee.
  • Where and when is the retrieval to occur? Any hard deadlines should be outlined as should the number of attempts the contract covers or any other factors that must be considered.
  • Is confidentiality expected? Donors and IPs can agree to be known, semi-known or anonymous. Decide what, if any future contact is expected, how medical updates will be shared if necessary. Will the donor be notified if any pregnancies or live births result from her donation? Can any resulting children participate in the Donor Sibling Registry?

While all parties concerned want the same result – a healthy birth and a growing family – there are many legal factors to consider. Getting the particulars on paper and out of the way quickly can help smooth the way for a healthy, happy relationship between the egg donor and intended parents.

At Surrogate Solutions we bring together surrogates, egg donors and intended parents with the goal of creating families. If you would like to learn more about egg donation or surrogacy, contact us today!

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