Embryo Donation

Parents who have built and completed their families through assisted reproductive technology (ART) are often left with embryos they have cryopreserved but do not plan to use. Rather than discarding those remaining embryos, embryo donation is a thoughtful way to help others hoping to build their families through ART.

What is embryo donation?
Through in vitro fertilization (IVF), a person or couple may create more embryos than they need. The extra embryos may be cryopreserved (frozen) for future use. After parents have completed their families, they may have unused embryos they no longer need. They have the option to have their embryos discarded, donated to research, or donated to another family for their procreation.
What is the purpose of an embryo donation agreement?
The purpose of an embryo donation agreement is to establish a clear understanding of the intentions of the parties. The agreement will clearly state that the embryo donor will have no parental rights or responsibilities regarding the donated embryos or resulting children and that the recipients of the embryos will have both physical and legal custody of all donated embryos and resulting children.

Other issues that the agreement will address include:

  • Reimbursement of expenses for transportation and storage fees of donated embryos, if any
  • Rights regarding future use and/or disposition of any cryopreserved embryos
  • Confidentiality of the parties
  • Obligations/desires regarding future contact and/or medical information
  • Rights of the child or children born from the embryo donation
Are embryo donors paid for donating their embryos?
No. Embryo donors cannot be paid for donating their embryos. The recipient, however, usually pays the legal fees of the donor’s attorney and sometimes reimburses the donor for past storage costs and transportation fees if moving the embryos to a new location after donation.

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As adoption and reproductive law attorneys, The Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim serve as a primary resource, counsel and partner to clients who seek to grow their families by contemporary means and methods, as recognized by the courts of New York and New Jersey.