If you plan to use assisted reproductive technology (ART) to add to your family, you may need to take advantage of gamete donation. But, this procedure isn’t as simple picking out a donor and creating your embryo — there are important legal steps required.
Depending on your situation, an egg donation contract, sperm donor contract or embryo donation (embryo adoption) contract may be necessary. Fortunately, these legal processes are fairly simple — and the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson are here to help. Whatever kind of gamete donor contract you may need, our legal team stands ready to protect your rights to your future child.
Below, you can read a bit more about the details involved in egg, sperm and embryo donor contracts. However, because each situation can be so different, we encourage you to reach out to our professionals anytime online or by calling 864-573-5533. We are happy to set up a consultation to determine what legal steps will be necessary in your personal family-building journey.
What to Know About Sperm Donor Agreements in South Carolina
First, we’ll tackle one of the most common kinds of gamete donation today — sperm donation.
There may be a few reasons why intended parents need donor sperm. Perhaps an intended father’s sperm isn’t viable, or he is worried about passing along a genetic disorder or condition. In other situations, single women or a lesbian couple need a sperm donation to complete their embryo and have a biological child.
Those in need of a sperm donor typically go about the process in one of two ways: through an independent match or through a professional such as an agency or fertility clinic. Whether or not they’ll need a sperm donor contract or simply a sperm donor consent at the clinic in South Carolina will depend upon their situation and the professional they work with.
If you work with a fertility clinic or matching agency, it’s likely that the sperm donor consent and waiver of rights will be taken care of by your professional. However, not all medical clinics’ sperm donor consents address the same issues — so it’s crucial that you work with an assisted reproduction lawyer who is aware of all the risks, responsibilities and potential situations that can emerge from a sperm donation. Attorney Jim Thompson is here to help you.
But, what if you find a sperm donor that you already know? If you trust each other and have similar ideas on parenting responsibilities, why do you need a known donor agreement contract?
Even if you and the sperm donor are on the same page, there are still legal parental rights that must be addressed in a known donor agreement in South Carolina. In certain situations, a sperm donor may be considered a legal father and be obligated to financially support any child resulting from his donation. Working with our team to create a private sperm donation agreement will address these issues.
What to Know About Egg Donation Contracts in South Carolina
Other intended parents use egg donation to have a genetically related child. The most common situations? Intended fathers who are single or part of a gay couple, or intended mothers whose eggs are not viable or are concerned about passing along genetic disorders. Just as those using sperm donations must complete contracts, those using this path to create their family must create egg donation contracts to protect their parental rights.
The process of drafting and finalizing an egg donor contract is similar to the process for a sperm donor contract in South Carolina. An intended parent and the egg donor will need separate attorneys. Our attorney on staff, Jim Thompson, can help you draft an egg donation legal agreement that addresses:
- Both parties’ rights and responsibilities in the process
- Post-birth relationships between egg donor and child (if applicable)
- Proper termination of parental rights
- Any payment for the egg donor’s services
The egg donor contract will be sent back and forth between each party’s attorneys until the parties are comfortable with the terms. It will then be finalized, and the intended parents and egg donor can proceed with the medical process of egg donation.
What to Know About Embryo Adoption Contracts in South Carolina
A growing facet of the ART industry today is embryo adoption, or embryo donation. More parents than ever are using in vitro fertilization to create their families — which means unused, healthy embryos are sitting in storage for years after a successful pregnancy. Some of these parents choose to donate their embryos to those who need them (often, intended mothers who cannot conceive on their own but are capable of carrying a pregnancy to term).
Many of the same issues and potential risks apply when it comes to an embryo donor contract. However, because embryos are usually donated through embryo donation agencies, it’s common for these legal issues to be taken care of when the professional takes custody of the embryos. Legally, these embryos are considered “property,” despite the misnomer of using “adoption” in reference to them. The transfer of embryos is fairly simple and straightforward.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t important considerations to make when it comes to using a donated embryo. Have you thought about future contact with the biological parents? How to protect your parental rights once your future child is born?
Our legal team is here to help. Attorney Jim Thompson can talk to you in more detail about the legal requirements of an embryo adoption. A legal embryo donation contract must be completed before the frozen embryo transfer can begin, and we encourage all intended parents to cover their bases by speaking with a local ART attorney in addition to their embryo donation agency.
Create Your Gamete Donation Contract with Our Team Today
Whatever kind of gamete donation you are interested in, the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson are here to help. Our legal team is happy to answer any questions you may have about assisted reproductive technology in South Carolina, including the state legislation that will determine how you move forward.
For more information, or to start drafting your egg, sperm or embryo donor contract today, please give us a call at 864-573-5533. We look forward to hearing from you.