Fertility patients sometimes express concern over the legal aspects of egg donation. Who owns the eggs? Can a donor try to reclaim embryos created from donated eggs? Can a donor petition the courts for access to a child resulting from an egg donation?
The practice of using donated eggs in fertility treatment has been around since the 1980s. So far, contracts protecting recipients and recognizing them as the intended parents have been upheld in courts. The rules apply to any eggs retrieved, embryos created using these eggs, and babies born from pregnancies that involve donor eggs. This is not a guarantee that the laws will remain the same; however, there is no indication at this time that the legality of egg donation is under threat.
All parties are represented by attorneys experienced in reproductive law of the United States during the donation process. These lawyers ensure that the agreements entered into are carefully drafted to comply with state and federal laws and avoid any confusion or misinterpretation regarding the rights, responsibilities, or intent of all parties.
About 95% of all egg donations are anonymous and the donor and intended parents will not meet. The confidentiality of recipients and donors is strictly maintained by the egg donation agency and medical clinic. Recipients will have access to medical information and photos as necessary to select a donor; but anonymous donors do not have access to information about potential recipients. Patients who wish to use donor eggs from someone they know (a directed donation) should seek counsel from an attorney who specializes in reproductive law to avoid potential complications.