The Need for Contracts in Egg Donation and Surrogacy Cases
It can be a big decision to move forward with an egg donation or surrogacy arrangement with a third party. While it is usually a wonderful experience, it can also be an emotional process that takes a great deal of commitment from everyone involved
With that in mind, the last thing you need upon going through this process is to be stuck in a legal battle regarding parental rights and expectations. That’s why, even when it’s not a requirement, it is crucially important for all parties involved to sign a legal agreement beforehand.
Ever since egg donation and surrogacy became an option for couples and individuals who would otherwise not be able to have children, there have been some very unique legal implications that have come up. These cases have challenged what it means to be a donor and a recipient, as well as muddied the waters when it comes to the methodologies used to determine parentage.
Cases involving these issues are usually ugly and bitter, and what usually makes all the difference is if there was an agreement signed beforehand. After all, a valid legal contract can be, for the most part, easily dissected by the courts. Without a contract, however, both parties leave themselves open to a lengthy and expensive legal process if or when there is a disagreement.
With all the confusion, one might think that well-established sperm donation laws and legal precedents would translate naturally into the realm of egg donation, allowing for more clarity. However, the two are not one in the same, as egg donation involves a much more involved medical process that includes the retrieval and implementation of eggs.
So how can all parties in an egg donation or surrogacy relationship ensure that they’re protected? The best method is to sign a valid legal agreement beforehand, which should outline in detail each party’s intentions, rights and obligations. These contracts are low-cost in terms of legal fees, but will pay off if any legal issues come up later on in the process.
Due to the spotty and unclear laws currently governing egg donation and surrogacy, courts will continue to rely on prior agreements to determine cases in this area. To be safe, make sure you come to an official agreement before moving forward.