Assisted Reproductive Technology
As an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) attorney, I help clients with legal matters relating to gamete donation and compassionate surrogacy. Choosing an assisted reproduction technology lawyer well versed in legal concerns (rights of donors, embryo transfer, confidentiality, compensation, abortion/selective reduction, future contact, medical expenses, insurance coverage), and in establishing legal parentage is extremely important. Below we’ve explained some of the main concepts to consider if you are pursuing parenthood through ART. Knowledge is power!
There are three types of donors: sperm donors and egg donors (collectively known as gamete donors) as well as embryo donors. These donors are further classified as either anonymous or known.
Sperm Donors are men who donate their sperm with the intention of allowing a woman, who is not usually the their sexual partner, to become pregnant through IVF (in-vitro fertilization) or artificial insemination. Sperm donors can be anonymous or identified when working with a sperm bank or a fertility clinic and can also donate directly to recipients. Attorneys represent intended parents and/or sperm donors by drafting or reviewing donor agreements.
Egg donors are women who provide one or several eggs (ova) with the intention of allowing an individual or a couple to undergo IVF and then implant the fertilized embryos into the intended parent or surrogate’s uterus for gestation. ART attorneys will draft or review donor agreements for both intended parents and egg donors.
Embryo donation can occur when a previously successful IVF cycle provides the intended parents with one or more completed pregnancies and unused embryos remain. Embryo donation allows transfer of the unused embryos to other individuals or couples, enabling them to become parents. Attorneys draft or review donor agreements for both embryo donors and intended parents.
Traditional surrogacy is a way to give birth to a baby by asking the surrogate mother to use her own viable egg and a man’s sperm. She is artificially inseminated by the donor/intended father’s sperm.
Gestational surrogacy is a legal arrangement where a woman agrees to carry and deliver a child for another individual or couple. As a gestational carrier, a woman will gestate a child from any combination of the following: intended parents’ gametes, donated gametes, or a combination of the two, with the intent that the intended parents become the legal parents of the child. In surrogacy cases, attorneys draft or review agreements not only between the intended parents and the other ART parties involved, but also ensure that the legal rights of the child are clearly defined.