Embryo / Gamete Disposition Agreements

Intended parents who have frozen gametes or embryos (including their own or donated eggs, sperm or embryos), should have a gamete or embryo disposition agreement or statement setting forth what will happen to their frozen gametes/embryos upon their death or divorce. For example, intended parents may opt for their unused gametes or embryos to be used by a surviving partner, donated to medicine or science for research purposes, donated to another family so that they can conceive their own child, or be discarded/destroyed upon their death.

Under New York State law, this type of planning cannot be done in a Last Will and Testament, so it essential that a disposition agreement or statement be created to address these important issues.

For intended parents who are married or in a committed relationship, these disposition agreements also address who will be awarded ownership of the gametes/embryos in the event of a divorce or separation, and what each party may do with the frozen gametes/embryos after the intended parents’ divorce or separation.  New York law now allows for one spouse/partner to consent to the use of the embryos by the other spouse/partner after divorce/separation without themselves being a parent or having any financial responsibility for the resulting child.

Each intended parent must have independent legal representation when entering into a gamete or embryo disposition agreement in order for the agreement to enforceable.

A single intended parent can execute a statement of intention with respect to their frozen gametes and/or embryos.

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