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  • Writer's pictureRalph M. Tsong

What's in an egg donation contract

Updated: May 8


egg donor contract

Egg donor contract is legal, written agreements between the intended parents and the egg donor. The process of egg donation usually commences when the intended parents choose their egg donor candidate. This will be followed by medical screening of the candidate with the IVF clinic, which may include genetic screening. The candidate also does psychological screening with a mental health professional. Once cleared, it goes to the lawyers which leads to the drafting of the contract, one of the last steps before the egg retrieval and cycle will be scheduled.


An egg donor contract is a written legal agreement which establishes the rights and obligations between the intended parents and the egg donor. These contracts are separate from egg donor agency contracts and are customized to the preferences of both parties.


To help familiarize you with the egg donor contract, we are providing this overview of the important sections. Note that this is not an all-inclusive list, and every egg donation contract varies depending on the circumstances.


What's in an egg donation contract?

PARENTAL RIGHTS

It is important to specify in the contract that the intended parents have ownership and control over all the eggs retrieved and of any resulting embryos. Furthermore, the contract must establish your parental rights so that any child born as a result of the egg donation process is your legal child. This requires the donor to waive any potential parental rights and any right to ownership, regardless of the disposition of the eggs or embryos. Sometimes the donor will request that the eggs or embryos not be donated to other persons or to science.

DONOR’S CONDUCT

One important section will be requiring that the donor comply with medical instructions of the IVF clinic, take medication properly, and refrain from certain activities, such as smoking, drinking, taking drugs, tattoos, and sexual activity before or during the retrieval procedure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our contracts might address avoiding public places and other actions to avoid contracting COVID. This section will also address additional retrieval cycles if any are cancelled.


FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

This part of the agreement establishes specific responsibilities of each party when it comes to financial responsibilities. The agreement can include case-specific terms such as providing for travel expenses, meals, donor reimbursements and compensation for the retrieval, purchase of complications insurance, fee for cancelled cycles, etc. It may include the creation of a trust or escrow account to hold the money to be used to pay compensation and/or reimbursements for the donor and when the trust or escrow will be closed.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

The contract will usually contain a confidentiality clause, so that third parties will not be informed about the donation. The contract will also address whether the donation is known/open, semi-open or anonymous. Anonymous or closed donations will require the parties not reach out to each other or attempt to identify each other. Semi-open may mean the parties do not know each other but they may have means of contacting each other, by registering on the Donor Sibling Registry portal, for example. A known donation involves parties that already know each other, and an open donation will be one where the parties will know each other and have the ability to communicate freely. You must address all issues and concerns regarding confidentiality/openness with the egg donor in the contract phase so all parties will both bound by such agreement.

FUTURE CONTACT

The agreement addresses future contact between you and the egg donor, which depends largely on whether it’s a known donation, semi-known donation, or anonymous donation. Often, the intended parents agree to disclose any pregnancies or live births to the donor. In anonymous or closed donations, there is often a method provided to contact each other through the agency if the child or the donor develops a genetic condition, so that the other party may be able to help or at least be warned about a possible condition. The contract will also address whether the donor can contact the child when the child is an adult.


INDEPENDENT COUNSEL AND CONFLICT WAIVER

One thing that strengthens a contract should it ever be challenged is having separate, independent legal counsel for both the donor and intended parents, and our contracts will acknowledge that fact. Because the intended parents usually pay for the donor’s attorney, the donor will need to waive the potential conflict of interest that could result from intended parents’ payment. Regardless of the payment, the donor’s attorney should provide effective legal counsel and negotiation.


CONCLUSION

The egg donation contract is not another checkbox in the way of an egg donation; there are important issues to be addressed in the contract. Having an attorney knowledgeable in the area of reproductive law like the attorneys of Tsong Law Group is indispensable because the contract outlines the critical issues involved in the process, lays out the rights and responsibilities of the parties, and prevents conflict down the road.

If you need help in your egg donation contract, contact an egg donation lawyer now.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without additional research or consulting an attorney. This article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship with the reader.

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