Florida Egg Donor Law:
Egg donation in Florida is governed by Florida Statutes Section 742.14 which provides:
742.14 Donation of eggs, sperm, or preembryos.—The donor of any egg, sperm, or preembryo, other than the commissioning couple or a father who has executed a pre-planned adoption agreement under s. 63.213, shall relinquish all maternal or paternal rights and obligations with respect to the donation or the resulting children. Only reasonable compensation directly related to the donation of eggs, sperm, and preembryos shall be permitted.
It is a short and sweet law, however, the topic of donation (mainly relating to sperm donation which is governed by the same law), has caused the most litigation in Florida when it comes to family building laws. The case law relating to disputes in Florida on the above law relate mainly to people that have donated sperm either without the proper contracts in place, or didn’t follow the legally required procedures to involve medical intervention to allow Florida law to apply (i.e. a man impregnated a woman through intercourse and later asserted that he was merely a sperm donor instead of performing insemination through the use of a doctor or other medical device).
There are more cases similar to the ones above in the United States where challenges to parental rights are filed after a child is born to determine whether someone is considered a donor and legal stranger to a child or should be deemed a parent with all the rights and support obligations. Consulting with an experienced egg and sperm donor lawyer is important to guide you through the process.
Florida Egg Donor Contract
When donating an egg in Florida, the law doesn’t require a contract be in place but it is imperative and the best practice to ensure that the proper legal documentation is drafted by a Florida egg donor attorney, to protect both the intended parents using the donated egg and the egg donor. Any reputable fertility clinic will not allow the cycle to begin for the egg donor until a legal agreement has been properly drafted and executed.
The intended parents will hire their own sperm and egg donor lawyer to draft the egg donor contract. They will also pay for a separate attorney to represent the egg donor and her spouse partner (if any) to review the contract on the egg donor’s behalf.
The Florida egg donation agreement contains some of the following provisions:
- Establishing whether the egg donation is a known donation or anonymous
- The egg donor and her spouse/partner agreeing to relinquish any rights to the donated eggs and resulting embryos and children
- The intended parents agreeing to assume all legal rights to the egg, and resulting embryos and children
- Establishing the egg donor’s reasonable compensation for her enduring the egg donation process
- Obligating the intended parents to be responsible for the medical expenses directly related to the egg donation
- Establishing the fertility doctor performing the retrieval
- Providing that the intended parents can speak to the doctors and have access to the egg donor’s medical records relating to the retrieval process
- Requiring the egg donor to follow certain health precautions prior to the egg retrieval, including diet, avoiding high risk activities, and following any Zika precautions prescribed by the doctor.
- Establishing what the future contact will be, if any, between the egg donor and intended parents.
- Setting any restrictions on the intended parents future use of the frozen eggs or embryos (i.e. restricting or limiting future donations or for scientific purposes)
- Providing for the confidentiality of the parties involvement with an egg donation
- The parties assumption of the risks involved with the egg donation process
An egg donation agreement is a critical step in the process to protect the rights of the parties involved. It is equally important to work with a lawyer, both for the intended parents, and for the egg donor who is familiar with Florida assisted reproductive technology and Florida egg donation law to ensure that the contract is done correctly to protect such rights.
When Is the Egg Donation Contract Drafted?
The egg donation contract is typically not drafted until the egg donor selected has been medically cleared by the IVF doctor, and the intended parents and egg donor (and her spouse/partner, if any) have been psychologically cleared by the mental health professional.
I am happy to provide a free consultation regarding Florida egg donation laws if you want to learn about your rights and obligations prior to the egg donor screening process.
As far as where to locate an egg donor, many people locate egg donors through Florida egg donation agencies that match intended parents with egg donors that meet their qualifications. There are also frozen egg banks that affiliate with many fertility clinics. Lastly, some people have friends or family that are willing to donate their eggs. No matter how an egg donor is located, a proper Florida egg donation contract, drafted by an experienced sperm and egg donation lawyer is a necessity.