Egg Donation

Egg donation is a form of assisted reproduction technology that is prerequisite for gay intended parents pursuing surrogacy and also used by other individuals and couples who are not able to use their own eggs to achieve a pregnancy.

Due to the fact that a medical procedure is required for egg donation, this type of donation is done exclusively through fertility clinics.

Options for locating an egg donor:

  • Family or friend (must be screened and approved by your fertility clinic)
  • Egg donor program at your fertility clinic
  • Egg donor agency
  • Egg donor concierge program (searches egg donor clinic programs and egg donor agencies for the perfect egg donor for you)

Egg donors are typically compensated for their time and effort involved in the egg donation process and the associated medical risks. Egg donors are also reimbursed for all expenses they incur during the process including travel, lost wages, attorney’s fees and medical expenses.

An egg donation agreement should be entered into prior to the beginning of stimulation medications leading up to the egg donation. Egg donation is a serious medical procedure and both the donor and the intended parents need to be aware of the risks and consider how the donor will be insured and compensated for any complications that occur. Both sides should be represented by independent counsel in the negotiation and execution of the egg donation agreement.

Egg donors can be known egg donors or unidentified egg donors.  The fertility industry is moving away from the term “anonymous” and toward the term “unidentified” because, with the emergence of home DNA testing such as 23andMe, complete anonymity is no longer a realistic possibility.  There is also a shift in the fertility industry towards a preference for known egg donation. This allow for sharing of genetic medical information and recognizes the strong desire of donor conceived persons to have access to information about their egg/sperm donors.

Next Steps:

In cases where the intended mother gives birth to a child conceived via donor egg, the mother and her spouse/partner (if applicable) are listed on the child’s original birth certificate. However, it is still a best practice to obtain a parentage order that specifically states that the intended mother and her spouse/partner (if applicable) are the parents of the child and that the egg donor is not a parent.

The parentage proceeding is typically filed during the second trimester of the pregnancy but can also be filed after the child is born.

In cases where the intended mother does not carry the pregnancy (due to fertility issues or because the intended parent(s) is/are a single man or same sex male couple, etc.), the services of a surrogate will also be needed. For more information on this process, please see our webpage on Surrogacy.

Couples or individuals who have frozen eggs left after they have finished creating their family also need to consider how the eggs will be treated in the event of a divorce or upon their death. The disposition of frozen eggs, sperm and embryos should be addressed in disposition forms and/or an agreement between the parties.

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