The legal consequences of donor arrangements (sperm, egg or embryo) depend on state law, which vary significantly from state to state. Most states have favorable laws governing sperm donation. But only a handful of states have similar laws for egg or embryo donation. Donor arrangements often involve conflicting laws in multiple states, for example where you have recipient parents in one state, a donor in a second state, and the IVF clinic in a third state. These situations require the involvement of an attorney with expertise in assisted reproductive law to ensure that the participants achieve their desired legal goals.
Texas has been a leader in the legal treatment of donor arrangements for many years. Texas law covers arrangements in which sperm, eggs or embryos are donated by a third party and transferred to an intended mother who will carry and give birth to the resulting child. The intended mother will be the legal mother of the child by virtue of bearing the child and there is no need for an adoption or any court involvement. If the intended mother is married, her husband will be legal father of the child so long as he has consented in writing to the arrangement. This means that, so long as the intended mother is able to carry a child, any combination of genetic contributors is possible and the intended parents will automatically be the legal parents of the child upon his or her birth. Similarly, upon signing the proper documentation the donor will have no legal rights or obligations with respect to any child that the intended mother may carry.
This legal summary was prepared by Gregory Stern (“Attorney”), an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. It includes information about legal matters but is for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. This summary is not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. No reader of this information or user of this website should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this website without seeking legal advice from an attorney. Neither receipt of information presented on this website nor any email or other electronic communication sent to Attorney through this site will create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney, and no such email or communication will be treated as confidential.