If you're hoping to have a child, working with an egg donor can seem like the perfect thing to do. However, because of your excitement and inexperience with the process, you might make some mistakes that have legal ramifications for you, the donor and any resulting children. Use the following tips to help you avoid those mistakes.
Have a Written Agreement
if you are using an egg donor that you know, you may not think of using a written agreement for anything. However, written agreements are crucial to the egg donation process, because feelings may change over time and you need to be sure that everyone does what they agreed to do.
It is especially important that any agreements spell out what contact the donor is to have with you and any resulting children after the process is complete. Will you be able to contact them with medical history questions? Do you want them to see the children on a regular basis? Having a written agreement that explores these issues will be helpful.
Establish Parental Rights
You might think that the forms you sign at the fertility clinic are binding proof that you are the parents of any children that result from the egg donation process, but that is not the case. Many states have different laws that dictate what constitutes a parent, and you need to make sure that you go through the proper channels so that, in the event of a problem, you and your spouse are protected. Work with a fertility lawyer to navigate the laws of your particular state so you can be legally declared parents.
Make a Plan for Unused Embryos
There may very well be embryos left over from the egg donation process. It is vital that you have a plan for them. Will you donate them to other couples? Will you freeze them for the egg donor in case they are later unable to have children? Will the embryos be destroyed? If you don't have a plan in place, it is more difficult to mount a challenge when someone wants to do something with the embryos that you did not expect. For example, if you and your spouse divorce, they may petition to have the embryos destroyed. Planning beforehand will help you avoid problems.
Investigate Tax Breaks
You may not know this, but you may be eligible for tax breaks because of the egg donation process. You may be able to itemize your expenses or get breaks through your company's plan. You may want to talk to a financial adviser to ensure that you are getting all the tax help you can, so that you can save a little money while you go through this process.
Now that you know how to avoid some pitfalls that many people fall into during the egg donation process, you are better prepared to move forward. Consult a local fertility lawyer like Carmen L. Janssen Attorney at Law to ensure that your rights are protected.