Statistically, the numbers are staggering: One out of every six couples will experience a fertility-related problem. Nearly 1,500,000 patients will consider medical solutions to their infertility this year alone. Of those seeking treatment, less than half will be rewarded with a pregnancy.
Egg Donation and the Law
Initially used to aid young women suffering premature ovarian failure, oocyte donation has become an extraordinary treatment for women of all ages who are incapable of producing viable eggs or are carriers of genetic diseases. With success rates approaching 50% per egg donation cycle and the availability of non-anonymous donors, oocyte donation has become a frequently used method of assisted reproduction.
Whether the donor egg is transferred directly to the intended mother or into a surrogate, oocyte donation has provided would-be parents with options previously unavailable. Importantly, many jurisdictions treat the use of a donor egg similarly to that of donated sperm, thus obviating the need for an adoption as the intended mother is considered the legal mother of the child.
IVF and the Law
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most prevalent and successful assisted reproductive treatment used today. While initially only used when women had blocked or missing fallopian tubes, today IVF has become the preferred treatment to counteract infertility. Offering a solution to a wide variety of infertility problems, IVF allows women who otherwise could not carry a child, the opportunity to bear a child.
For those women who are medically unable to carry a child, IVF with a surrogate now gives couples the opportunity to have a child biologically related to them. In vitro fertilization with the use of an egg donor allows would-be mothers, whose ovaries fail to produce eggs, an answer to their infertility problems. With success rates now exceeding 70% per transfer, IVF has emerged as the most flexible and viable assisted reproductive technology available.
Protecting the Rights of Surrogates, Egg Donors, and Parents
Some of the services Vorzimer/Masserman – Fertility & Family Law Center provides to assist their clients include: counseling couples, surrogates and egg donors on the state of the law, with respect to the different reproduction methods available; drafting of contract(s) between the couple and their surrogate and/or egg donor; and assisting couples in finalizing their parental rights.
As part of legal counseling and contract drafting, they address, among others, the following issues:
- Establishing the intent of the parties as to parental rights
- Identifying the parties’ financial responsibility
- Identifying the finalization procedures to be utilized
- Ensuring all parties obtain informed consent
- Requiring social disease testing, including HIV/AIDS
- Ensuring the surrogate/donor is medically examined and screened
- Discussing the current status of the law and the attendant risks
Defining Legal Thought on IVF and Egg Donation
The gestational surrogacy (In vitro fertilization) contract Vorzimer/Masserman prepares for their clients is the very same contract considered and validated by the California Supreme Court in the landmark Johnson v. Calvert case. Notably, they have never had a surrogate working with one of our clients change her mind.
Vorzimer/Masserman attorneys travel throughout the world, presenting lectures on assisted reproduction and frequently appear in the international press addressing issues relating to surrogacy and egg donation. They have also authored numerous articles on third party reproduction.
Lost in the legal maze of surrogacy and reproductive legislation? Vorzimer/Masserman helped define current thinking and advise clients worldwide on the best ways to start a family.
At Egg Donation Inc., we are proud to play a small role in helping you accomplish your reproductive goals, whether you are looking to start or grow your family. As the largest and oldest egg donation program in Southern California, we have worked with only the best and most seasoned fertility lawyers. Having helped more than 15,000 families in our 30+ years in business, assisting all of our donors and recipients through every step of the process, and finding the right lawyer for you is just one of the free services we offer. Contact us today to learn more!