Conception using sperm or egg donation has become very common, and it's important for both donors and parents to understand the legal ramifications of their actions. What rights and obligations do donors have, and how can each party protect their parental rights?
Do Sperm or Egg Donors Have Parental Rights and Obligations?
Whether a sperm or egg donor has parental rights and obligations depends on the signing of the donor contract and how the child was conceived. Donors can be either anonymous or known, and when they're known, all parties should speak to an attorney as early in the process as possible. This way, everyone can ensure their rights are protected.
When a donor is anonymous in the state of North Carolina, they usually sign an agreement that keeps their identity and contact information private, and neither the parents nor the donor child can reach out to them. Anonymous sperm or egg donation typically relinquishes parental rights and responsibilities.
The method of conception is also a consideration with sperm and egg donation. If it's artificial insemination, carried out at a medical facility, a sperm donor will give up his parental rights. Carrying out the donation and insemination procedures in a recognized medical facility also helps make the legal boundaries clearer.
How Donor Contracts Protect Donors
When parents choose a known donor, it's vital to get a legal contract protecting everyone's interests. Such a contract prevents the parents from making any claims against the donor for financial responsibility. It frees the donor from being sued for paying for child support or other obligations that come with parental responsibility.
A donor contract also protects the parents if a donor “changes their mind” and wants to seek a parental relationship with the child. With a contact in place, a donor typically cannot sue for visitation rights or legal custody of the child.
Custody Situations and Donor Parents
If you are considering conceiving a child using a sperm or egg donor or becoming a known donor, speaking with an experienced attorney can help ensure you and the other parties understand your legal rights and responsibilities. At Jerkins Family Law, we can help you make sense of even the most complicated custody issues. Call us today at (919) 719-2785 or contact us online.