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  • 作家相片Ralph M. Tsong

What to Expect During the Legal Stage of Egg Donation: Both Intended Parents and Donors’ Perspective    

egg donation legal process

A fresh egg donation cycle has several steps: the match between intended parents and donor; donor’s medical screening and approval by the IVF clinic; donor’s psychological clearance; donor’s genetic screening; and finally, the legal stage where legal clearance is issued. 

Like our recent blogs discussing the legal stage of surrogacy from the perspective of surrogates and intended parents, the legal stage for egg donation is important to establish clear rights and obligations for all parties. From choosing the right attorney to contract review to obtaining legal clearance, here's what you can expect during the legal phase of egg donation: 

  1. Choosing the Right Attorney. The legal stage consists of each of the parties, the intended parents or recipients, and the egg donor (and spouse if she has one) choosing and signing on with their own lawyer. Both parties will have separate legal representation throughout the egg donation process. The legal costs of retaining an attorney are covered by the IPs. It is crucial to select an attorney experienced in drafting egg donation agreements. In FAQ #27, we answer whether an attorney for the egg donor can really represent them properly if their attorney fees are paid for by intended parents.  

  2. Representation Agreement. Once selected, the lawyer will send the party a representation agreement or letter, which will explain what the scope of services the lawyer is providing. Both the egg donor and the IP will sign the representation agreement with their respective attorneys. Note that this is not the egg donation agreement, but the agreement to agree to representation.  

  3. Drafting the Egg Donation Agreement. The lawyer for the intended parents will usually draft the egg donation agreement based on the information the agency or intended parents have given them. There are varying levels of disclosure in these agreements, ranging from anonymous to disclosed, where parties may know each other's identities. The lawyer for the egg donor usually reviews the contract with the donor. In some cases, the contract may be pre-drafted and the parties review and revise them separately.   

  4. Reviewing the Egg Donation Agreement. Schedule a review appointment with your attorney to go through the egg donation agreement thoroughly. Read the egg donation agreement beforehand because the review will not be a word for word reading. Make sure your spouse is also present for the review if they signed the representation agreement, as they will be a party to the agreement. This is the time to address any questions or suggest changes.  

  5. Negotiating and Finalizing. Once you approve the redline your attorney sends you after your review, they will present the redline to the other side’s attorney  and the negotitaion begins.  After both parties agree to any redlines, a final egg donation agreement will then be circulated for signing.  

  6. Signing the Agreement. In most cases, egg donation agreements do not require notarization for signatures. Some will choose to notarize if they want to verify the identity of the person signing. Notarizing a contract may be required in some states, or it may be the preference of one of the parties. The attorney may send you a PDF for printing or which can be electronically signed if the contract is not notarized.   

  7. Issuing of Legal Clearance. Once both parties have signed, the intended parents’ attorney will issue a legal clearance letter to the clinic which allows the retrieval procedure to be scheduled and begin. 

If you are looking to become a egg donor or intended parent through egg donation, have an experienced attorney guide you through your contract protect your rights. Our attorneys are licensed in California, New York, Illinois, Washington, Arizona, and Oklahoma, and recognized as AAAA and ACAL Fellows.   

Reach out today for our help in the legal stage of your egg donation journey.  


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