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Questions about Egg Donation Laws

What is egg donation?

Egg donation is a process when a woman provides one or many eggs -- normally ten to fifteen -- to help in reproduction. Usually this process is to help someone that cannot have a baby have one of their own. There have been issued guidelines by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine to decide who can be an egg donor. The requirements are very strict, and not everyone will be allowed to donate. Many times, there are legal implications when using or becoming an egg donor that can lead to questions about rights and legal obligations. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can provide answers to legal questions about egg donation. Read below the top five egg donation questions that have been answered on JustAnswer.

Can someone who is not a legal resident of the United States adopt a child who is a legal citizen in California?

Adopting a child who is a legal resident in the California, United States, would be controlled by the California law, not federal immigration law. There is no law in California that requires an adoption to be by a citizen of the United States. So in most situations this will be considered a legal adoption. Also, there is no law in the state of California that prohibits same-sex couples from trying to adopt. If the child is under the age of 18, and they have another legal living parent, then that parent would need to give up their parental rights, or the person adopting would need to go before the court to remove those rights, before they could legally adopt.

Can an egg donor petition for custody of the child if they believe there has been abuse and neglect involved?

Being the egg donor does not give a person automatic biological rights of a parent, although they could file for custody but will have to prove that they have had a relationship with the child, and that it is in the best interest of the child to have the child removed from the parents. To help the case you should ideally get the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) involved first, so they can investigate the neglect or abuse. ACS investigates the complaints from family members about the abuse and neglect. If you have other questions regarding egg donor’s rights for custody, ask Family Lawyers on JustAnswer.

If someone entered a contract with an egg donation agency and are not pleased with their services how do they receive their money back?

They can file a breach of contract against the agency. If the damages are not over $15,000 they can file an action for small claims without an attorney. The damages consist of the deposit paid and the court fees and costs. They can get the forms for this through their local clerk of the court.

When one woman donates her egg, and another woman carries the baby, legally who will the baby belong to?

The law varies from state to state. Generally in a committed relationship both women would have the same rights to the child. They should create an outlining contract stating the rights of both parties to the child; in most states they would recognize maternal rights to the women carrying the baby to full term, even if the baby doesn’t have her genetic material. In a committed relationship both women would be responsible for child support if they happen to separate.

If a child was conceived through an egg donation, if the woman listed on the birth certificate is not the biological mother, will the father receive sole custody of the child?

They would have to file for divorce first and then ask for a DNA test. Once the DNA test comes back and rules out the mother as the biological mother, then the mother would normally have no rights. The court will have to rule on this and then the father might be awarded sole custody of the child.

Becoming an egg donor is a very important and hard decision to make. Many people cannot conceive or have reproductive problems. Using techniques like sperm and egg donation, it makes it easier for couples to have a family together. However, there could be unforeseen legal implications if you do not address the possible legal issues at the outset. It’s always advisable to get Expert inputs and be legally well informed before taking any decision. One way to do this would be to ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer to provide legal insight on the rights and requirements of being a donor.
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