Your Guide to the Surrogacy Process: The Role of the Donor

Do you need help from a donor in order to become a parent? Perhaps you are interested in becoming a donor yourself. In either case, you need to think ahead and protect yourself, with the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer who understands ART (assisted reproductive technology). Your lawyer can help you draft an agreement between you and the donor whom you plan to use. If you’re getting your donated genetic material from a cryobank or a similar facility, you should still hire a lawyer to look over the information and the forms before you sign anything.

Is a Donor Just Out for Money?

Egg donors and sperm donors are typically compensated for their genetic material. However, this compensation is for the significant inconvenience they undergo during the donation process. The required medical procedures, especially for an egg donor, are quite invasive and sometimes uncomfortable. Before a donation is made, a donor will go through physical and mental evaluations to ensure that they are fully informed and understand the serious nature of their donation. Medical professionals try to weed out individuals who are only in it for the money.

If you are considering becoming a donor, be sure that you are doing it for all the right reasons. While the financial compensation is only fair considering the donation process, you should also have the best interests of the intended parents at heart. Ideally, your primary goal should be helping couples to create the families that they never could have had without your donation.

Will a Donor Hunt Me Down?

Some intended parents have a deep-seated fear of their anonymous donor discovering who they are and showing up at their home someday to cause stress and upheaval in their family. However, this is very unlikely. Usually, the donor has little to no information about the recipients of the donated material. In most cases, the donor does not care to investigate any further or to interfere in the family.

If you choose to receive material from a donor whom you know, make prior arrangements with that individual regarding how much contact you are comfortable with. Your attorney can help you draft a document that addresses future contact and communication parameters.

What about Online Forms?

Here’s a question that many people ask: “Why can’t I just use an agreement that I find online?” It’s true that there are many templates, forms, and documents online for various legal processes, including agreements for egg or sperm donors. However, using one of these pre-made forms can be a big mistake. Some of them are designed for use within a specific state. If you use one of these state-specific forms, your rights may not be protected in your state. Other online forms are created by individuals without legal expertise, and those agreements may leave loopholes and gaps, failing to protect you or the other individuals involved in the donor process.

Instead of relying on potentially inaccurate agreements that you discover online, take the time to set up an appointment with a lawyer.  A Maryland lawyer who experienced in ART and related legal matters can provide you with a complete, reliable, legal document that is fully supported by the laws within your state. In addition, your lawyer can offer helpful advice and answer any questions that you may have about becoming a donor or using donor eggs or donor sperm.

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About Nicole K. White

As a mother via gestational surrogacy, Nicole is passionate about helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of their own through third party reproduction. Her knowledge and experience as an attorney and as an intended parent mean she knows firsthand what you will go through and what you will need – understanding, ongoing support, guidance and a smooth process.

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