You can become a parent through a third-party donation of sperm, eggs (ovum), or embryos. As explained by an assisted reproduction law attoney from Surratt Law Practice, use of donated reproductive genetic materials has its own pitfalls and legal concerns but using a donation is a viable means of becoming a parent. In fact, there are thousands of babies born each year from Assisted Reproductive Technology. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) preliminarily estimates that in 2020 there were 79,942 infants born from assisted reproductive technology cycles in the United States.
That is 79,942 babies whose parents needed legal advice to assure that their parental rights are stable and secure. If you are looking to use assisted reproductive medical technology to become a parent, it is important to consult with an attorney during the process. Many fertility clinics are now giving their clients forms to fill out for a sperm, egg, and even embryo donations. The reality is that a medical clinic consent form may not be enough and doctors are simply not well suited for giving legal advice.
Take for example the parents that were feat NBC news Article from February 15, 2023 titled “Lesbian mom loses parental rights, and wife, to child’s sperm donor.” Two women had a child utilizing a sperm donation. They entered into a sperm donation agreement (which they believed to be sufficient) to “terminate” the donors’ rights and secure the rights of the moms. One of the women carried the baby. However, the lesbian mothers split up and they did not obtain an adoption before they split for the mother than did not carry the child. By law in some States, an adoption is not needed for the second parent to be designated as a parent but in this case they needed the adoption for the second parent to be recognized.
Clinics are not warning their clients that they may need an adoption after the birth of their child. In fact, a medical clinic is not equipped to give that type of advice. You can only get that advice from a licensed and experienced assisted reproductive law attorney. An experienced assisted reproductive technology attorney can tell you what the laws are in your State, versus the State where the donation took place, and the State in which the baby will be born. The laws in each State can be different. They can carefully craft a donation contract for you and advice on any additional legal procedures that are needed to guarantee parental rights.
To find out more about assisted reproduction laws and how they may affect your paricular situation, reach out to a licensed reproduction law attorney today.