Jessica C. Graves, Owner, 1760 E. River Rd. #191, Tucson, AZ 85718, 520.468.3838 - Hablamos Español
Infertility in America is gaining more and more recognition. So many couples are unable to have a child genetically related to them without help from fertility specialists and clinics around the county. Alternatively, same-sex couples and individuals wish to have children of their own, who may or may not be genetically related to them. Now, because we live in a world of constantly evolving technology, family formation is possible through assisted reproductive technology. However, because the laws have not quite kept pace with the technological advances, it is crucial that parents seek competent legal advice about the potential legal ramifications of egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy.
It is important that an egg donation agreement be entered into to ensure everyone’s expectations are clear from the beginning. In some cases, the donation may be anonymous, but in others, the donation could be made through a friend or a relative. You want to be absolutely sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of what happens after the birth of the child. By having an agreement in place, you and your donor should feel more comfortable with the egg donation process and after the child’s birth.
After the child’s birth, it is important that you know what rights you have as the birth parent vs. the rights of the egg donor. The circumstances will vary based on the situation, but it is important that you discuss the possible outcomes with an attorney prior to beginning the egg donation process.
Like egg donation agreements, it is important that there be an agreement set in place to explain everyone’s intentions regarding the donation and any resulting child. The sperm donor may be anonymous through a sperm bank, or he may be a friend or family member. In each case, you will want to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding what rights, if any, the sperm donor will have to any resulting child. Additionally, the sperm donor will want to make sure he is not responsible for support after the child’s birth.
Embryo adoption is a wonderful alternative to egg and sperm donation because it allows an intended mother the opportunity to carry one’s child, even though the child may not be genetically related to either of the intended parents. It is still important there is an embryo donation agreement in place. The genetic parents’ expectations to any resulting child and the intended parents’ expectations to any resulting child should be in writing and agreed upon prior to the transfer.
Once the child is born, the intended parents will need to take steps to ensure the child is legally the child of the intended parents. Because the child is not genetically related to the intended parents, there may always be the possibility that a genetic parent could claim their parentage to the child in the future due to the genetic connection.
Many risks exist when intended parents and surrogates enter into surrogacy agreements under Arizona law. Arizona Revised Statute § 25-218 states that “[n]o person may enter into, induce, arrange, procure or otherwise assist in the formation of a surrogate parentage contract.” It is critical to talk to an assisted reproductive technology attorney about the legal consequences of surrogacy and gestational carrier agreements and what happens after the birth of a child born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement.