How much do we really know about fertility?

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Psychological Aspects of Embryo Donation/Adoption

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Family Formation Law - Embryo Donation/Adoption

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Monday, June 25, 2018, 01:29

2. What does the law say about embryo donation?

[Federal] law states absolutely nothing at this time about embryo donation, yet many states are now considering how to handle these unique family situations... We do have several states that have addressed the issue of embryos in the divorce context whereby the ex-wife or ex-husband wants to use their cryopreserved embryos in order to have a child. In those cases, the courts have ruled that the embryos are marital property and that one side cannot be forced to procreate and become a parent against their will despite any consents signed by the couple while they were married.

3. Are there legal differences between embryo donation and embryo adoption?

Legally, there are no real differences between donation and adoption except in how the agency chooses to handle the arrangement. In the donation arrangement a home study is usually not required, yet in the adoption arrangement a home study is obtained.

4. What are the important parts of an embryo donation contract?

The most important part of an embryo donation contract is the entire contract. Every section is there for a purpose to ensure that ultimately your rights are protected every step of the way.

5. Do clinics often require contracts of their own to protect them? Should I have my own attorney review these documents?

Absolutely, and they are called informed consents. As I stated in Question 1 above, you should always have an attorney review these documents before signing them. You should always do whatever you can to protect yourself and your children.

6. What if my donors change their mind after the procedure and want the baby? What are their rights?

Currently, since there are not any laws, either legislative or case law, we have relied on the premise that embryo donation, as is egg and sperm donation, is the transfer of property. In fact, the cases involving divorced couple and their embryos support this premise. In addition, the courts have consistently stated that an egg donor and/or sperm who have been adequately advised and who have waived their rights knowingly cannot later change their mind; therefore, this should not be an issue at any time soon.

7. Can the contract specify the level of contact we have with the donor?


8. I am a donor. Can a contract protect me from inherency claims from the future children?

Can it protect me from being asked to assume custody? As I stated in Question 6 above, the waiver of rights, as well as the acceptance of rights, must be reciprocal; therefore, each party should be protected from claims on either side of the donation/adoption with the proper agreement in place.

9. Is embryo brokerage (the buying and selling of embryos) legal? What about reimbursement costs?

Currently, we have no [federal] legal guidance regarding the buying and selling of embryos. In fact, some have tried to compare it to egg donation where the egg donor is compensated for her pain and suffering. Yet, due to the fact that embryos are created from the joining of the egg and sperm and can be implanted to create a child, many of us in this field have determined that embryos should not be bought and sold. Ultimately, this is a gray area [in most states] that will eventually need to be addressed; however, until that is done, I would always advise that embryos not be bought and sold. Reimbursement costs for expenses such as storage fees have always been acceptable.

(Collaborative information provided by experts for the Miracles Waiting site.)


About Miracles Waiting,
Miracles Waiting is an online destination to connect families waiting to receive embryos with embryo donors.
Miracles Waiting does not employ, recommend or endorse any adoption provider or adoption seeker nor is it responsible for the conduct of any adoption provider or adoption seeker. Miracles Waiting provides information and tools to help embryo donors and recipient families connect and make informed decisions. However, each individual is solely responsible for selecting an appropriate adoption provider or adoption seeker for themselves or their families and for complying with all applicable laws in connection with any relationship they establish. Miracles Waiting does not provide legal or medical advice, or engage in any conduct that requires a professional license.
Miracles Waiting is independent and not affiliated with any religious organization, or adoption agency. Miracles Waiting doesn’t turn anyone down because of race, age, marital status, sexual preferences, or religion. We feel that such requirements are the concern of those donating and receiving embryos in accordance with their own preferences, circumstances and beliefs, and should not be determined by Miracles Waiting. We offer embryo donors and recipients the opportunity to find each other, but we allow them the freedom to work out the details of their embryo donation on their own terms. We have been very successful in this endeavor and have made hundreds of matches, many of which have resulted in pregnancies.
Miracles Waiting is not a clinic and we also don't have embryos available for donation in storage. Our program is entirely web based and works as a matching service for donors and recipients. This allows the donors to make "known" donations and for both the donors and recipients to create the agreement and relationship they want. It is always up to the family donating the embryos who they pick for their embryos and not us.
We don’t do the matching. Most donations arranged through Miracles Waiting are known donations and, at a minimum, you will have email contact directly with the recipient families.
All we do is facilitate the match between the donor and the recipient. The rest will be between the donors and you. Also both of the clinics (yours and the donors) should help guide you and the donor through the process of embryo donation, as each clinic has different requirements.

About screening: We do not request any screenings from families. This is always up to the family donating their embryos, not us.
If you are an embryo donor, you will need to request from the families you are matching with, any screening that is important to you or that is advised by your legal representative. If you are an embryo recipient, it will depend on the donor family donating to you if they will request any screening from you.
We urge our members to always seek legal representation when drawing up an embryo donation contract so you will protect yourself and others involved from engaging in any unwillingly illegal transaction.
The Information provided in this page and website is for educational purposes only and you should not rely on it as a substitute for professional assistance. If you are concerned about your health or the health of a loved one please seek the help of a medical care provider.
Copyright © 2004 - 2018 Miracles Waiting - Embryo Donation Program, All Rights Reserved.
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