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Will the donor sperm have parental rights in a “do it yourself” artificial insemination under Florida law?

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Will the donor sperm have parental rights in a “do it yourself” artificial insemination under Florida law?

Florida’s egg, sperm, and embryo donation statute (Florida Statute 742.14) provides that the donor of egg, sperm, or embryos has no parental rights to the resulting child (unless between a commissioning couple or a preplanned adoption agreement is in place) when using assisted reproductive technology. Florida law defines “assisted reproductive technology”, in part, as procreative procedures which involve the laboratory handling of human eggs or preembryos. A 2002 Florida case found that a woman who wanted to get pregnant in the “usual and customary manner” with a friend for the use of his sperm could not relieve the man who provided his sperm of his parental rights despite an agreement providing otherwise that he was just a sperm donor because the child was created in the “usual and customary way”. The statute did not contemplate impregnation of woman with donated sperm by means of intercourse. In contrast, a 2013 Florida case involved a “do it yourself” artificial insemination using the biological mother’s egg by her same sex partner’s brother’s sperm. In that case, the court found the man who donated his sperm could be deemed just a donor with no parental rights because while the procedure was not done in a laboratory setting, the court held “the statute does not require that the artificial insemination be performed in a clinical setting”. Regardless of the method of conception, it is imperative to have the proper documentation in place to specify the parties intention regarding parental rights and the status of the donor or egg or sperm.

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