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Florida Laws on Embryo Donation

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Florida Laws on Embryo Donation

Embryo donation in Florida is governed by the same laws that govern egg and sperm donation. The Florida embryo donation law provides as follows:

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 preplanned 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

A common misconception is that an embryo donation in Florida requires an adoption or adoption type processes such as a home study. Pursuant to Florida law, a donor of an embryo relinquishes their rights to the donated material  provided there is no agreement or intent to the contrary. Embryo donation in Florida does not involve adoption or Florida adoption laws.

Prior to donating an embryo under Florida law, a legal contract is required to reflect the arrangement between the donor and recipient. Additionally, certain mental health evaluations should be performed by all the parties, along with certain medical testing as required by the fertility clinic. The receiving fertility clinic will require documentation as to the creation of the embryos, including, but not limited to, instructions on how to thaw the embryo(s) as each lab utilizes different techniques in the freezing and thawing of embryos.

According to the ABA Guide to Assisted Reproduction: Techniques, Legal Issues, and Pathways to Success co-authored by Jeffrey Kasky and myself:

When embryos are donated pursuant to Florida law, it is highly recommended, and required by many fertility clinics, that the donors and recipients of the donated embryos draft an embryo donation agreement to establish the parameters of the donation, including the intent of the donors’ to relinquish all parental rights  of the embryos to the recipients. The donors should be represented by a reproductive attorney to review the agreement and the recipients should be represented by a separate reproductive attorney in preparing the agreement. Typically the parties receiving the donated embryos pay for both lawyers.

The Florida embryo donation agreement should also address, among other points, the confidentiality of the arrangement, establishing future contact between the parties and the future children, and reimbursement of any expenses the donors incur relating to the donation (i.e. shipping, storage fees, legal fees, etc).

Once the embryo donation agreement is fully executed, typically the drafting attorney will prepare a legal clearance letter that is provided to the fertility clinic confirming that the agreement is finalized in accordance with Florida law to allow the actual donation of the embryos to occur.