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Who is the Legal Parent in Egg Donation Cases?

Posted on in Family Law

Who is the Legal Parent in Egg Donation Cases?Modern technology has assisted with the creation and growth of many families. Originally, natural conception and adoption were the only two options available to those who wish to have children or increase the size of their existing family. While adoption is a great option for couples to use, some parents wish to have a biological connection with their child and care for them through conception as well. Thankfully, medical advances have allowed families to have children through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using donor eggs. Egg donation is a treatment for infertile women who wish to physically bear a child. While this is not a brand new technology, it has continued to improve over the years. According to data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), there was a 50.7% success rate for live births using donor eggs in the U.S. in 2017, proving that this version of IVF is a valid option for many families.

Requirements of the Recipient and Donor

For obvious reasons, IVF egg donation is not a parent’s first choice when trying to create a family; however, it is a good option for those who need help doing so. The process can cost a significant amount of money and involves a fair amount of medical treatments. This form of IVF is typically used for women with diminished egg quantity and quality. These include women with: 

  • Premature ovarian failure;
  • Poor response to ovarian stimulation;
  • Poor egg quality;
  • Low antral follicle counts on ultrasounds;
  • High day 3 follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels; and/or
  • Advanced age.

Donors have a long list of requirements that they must meet before they are eligible. Females must be between the ages of 21 and 29 and be a U.S. citizen or have the legal right to work in the U.S. There are many health qualifications that must be met. The women must have a healthy BMI, no reproductive abnormalities, two ovaries, an excellent family health history, not be using any form of birth control and be a non-smoker/drug user. The woman must also have some form of college or trade/vocational certification.

What Is the Legality of the Donation Process?

It can be difficult for Illinois legislation to keep up to date on every new technological advancement in IVF since they happen so frequently. The most questioned area of IVF egg donation is who has legal rights over the child. According to the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46), a donor is not a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction. A donor is defined as someone who “participates in an assisted reproductive technology arrangement by providing gametes” and relinquishes their legal rights over the child. Those who are the intended parents of the conceived child become their legal guardian. 

Anonymous donations are also common and still grant the intended parents full legal rights over the child. However, either party is legally allowed to withdraw consent to use the eggs. If the intended parents do this before the insemination process is performed, they will not be the parents of any resulting child. If the donor withdraws consent before the insemination, the intended parent is not the parent of any resulting child.

Call a DuPage County Egg Donor Agreement Attorney

The egg donation process is a good option for those looking to have children but who cannot do so without additional help. Because the intended parents and the donor are getting involved in a legal process, it is important to create a legal agreement that can be utilized if necessary. Being prepared for things to go awry is often the best way to keep them in-line. At A. Traub & Associates, we understand the risk that both parties take when agreeing to participate in a collaborative medical process and we will help resolve any complications that may arise. If you are a donor or intended parent involved in an assisted reproduction arrangement, contact our Lombard, IL, reproductive lawyers at 630-426-0196 for assistance.

Sources:

https://www.advancedfertility.com/eggdonor.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=3638&ChapterID=59

https://www.fertilitysourcecompanies.com/egg-donation/donor-requirements/


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