In Florida, the donation of eggs, sperm or embryos, is governed by Florida law which essentially provides that absent an agreement to the contrary, the person(s) who donates their egg, sperm, or embryos relinquishes all rights now and until forever to such genetic materials to the recipients/intended parents.
The donation of such genetic material in Florida can be done anonymously, or the parties can be known to one another, depending on the arrangement made between the parties.
Regardless of the arrangement for the donation whether the parties will know one another or not, it is imperative to have the proper contract drafted in accordance with the applicable state law to ensure that the arrangement decided is codified in the contract and the proper confidentiality and future contact provisions between the parties is established in the contract.
It is important to discuss the implications of anonymous donation v.s. known donation with a mental health professional as each arrangement comes with different implications from a psychological perspective.
Below is a brief summary of the differences between a known donation, partially known donation, or anonymous donation.
Pursuant to the American Bar Association’s, ABA Guide to Assisted Reproduction: Techniques, Legal Issues, and Pathways to Success, which I co-authored with attorney, Jeffrey Kasky:
…An open donation is considered important to some intended parents. Open donation allows for the ongoing development of a future relationship with the donor. This can be beneficial for an emotional reason and also for medical purposes, as it allows the parties to remain in communication in the event a genetic issue should arise in the future with the child or the donor. With any form of donation, it is imperative that the proper legal documentation is in place to make certain that the donor relinquishes any and all parental rights and that the intended parents assume any and all parental rights to the resulting child. It is essential to document this form of open communication in the parties’ contract. In this type of arrangement, the parties’ legal names are likely to be included on the donation contract.
While there are variations of partially known donations, generally this is an arrangement wherein the information shared between the intended parents and the donor is somewhat limited. As an example, the parties may decide they want to meet in person, but they do not want to exchange contact information or continue an open relationship. Thereafter, following the donation all future communication is performed through the clinic, agency, or donation bank. Assuming that the proper legal documentation is in place for the donation, the form of future communication between the intended parents and donor will be established in writing. In this type of arrangement, the parties’ legal names may be included on the donation contract or the parties may choose to sign the contract anonymously by an identification number assigned to the donor.
Anonymous donation is a closed form of donation where the intended parents do not communicate directly with the donor and do not have the donor’s name, but instead, identify the donor with an anonymous ID number. Any necessary communication between intended parents and the donor is channeled through the clinic, agency, or donor bank that serves as a middle man and provides any information needed regarding the genetic materials donated. An anonymous donation arrangement does not guarantee that the parties will forever remain anonymous to one another. Even though the parties do not share identifying information, with the power of the Internet and the ability to locate a person just based on a photo, there is always a chance that donors and intended parents can be located….