Rights & legal responsibilities
Your rights and responsibilities will be identified in the contracts between yourself and the agency and/or the intended parent(s). Some rights and responsibilities that ought to be addressed include behaviors that you agree to engage in (i.e. taking medications, going to appointments) and abstain from (i.e. drug/alcohol use, sex during the medication phase), parental rights, and rights to know or not know certain information about the results of your donation.
Questions to ask:
What type of forms will I be required to sign during this phase?
Donors may sign several legal documents/agreements prior to beginning the donor cycle:
- a consent form often between the donor and the clinic performing the monitoring appointments and egg retrieval;
- an egg donation contract between the donor and the intended parent(s)
- an agreement between the donor and the agency.
The consent form is in place so that you are given the opportunity to review all of the procedures and risks involved with being an egg donor.
The egg donation contract is a legally binding document that addresses the legal implications for the donor, agency, clinic, and intended parent(s).
What are my rights throughout this process?
You have several rights that you should be aware of throughout this process. You have the right to withdraw at any time. You have the right to ask any questions about the process, the risks, and the outcomes. You have the right to know exactly what medications you are being asked to take, the purpose of the medications, and any side-effects or health risks.
The contract that you will be asked to sign will state that the egg donor will give all rights to the eggs and embryos produced to the intended parent(s).
What are my legal responsibilities at this point in the process?
The contract will detail your responsibilities, such as your agreement to future contact from the clinic, the recipient, or the potential child. Also, your contract will likely state that you have the future responsibility to update the clinic, recipients, and/or potential children of any important health changes that occur after the donation.
It will also list the responsibilities of the program including matters of confidentiality, payment, medical treatment including potential complications and whether a donor medical insurance policy is in place, and moderating between the donor and recipient(s).
The contract will also delineate intended parent(s) responsibilities such as assuming all legal and parental responsibilities for any children that may result from the donation and donor/agency payment.
Can I decide to stop the process at this point?
Yes. You can withdraw at any point before the retrieval. Any agreements or contracts stating a donor cannot withdraw without penalties, such as financial consequences, should be re-negotiated to have those provisions removed.
How important is it that I honestly answer, to the best of my knowledge, the questions in the interviews and screenings?
It is very important to honestly answer the questionnaires and interviews to the best of your knowledge, for your own legal safety and the safety of the potential recipient(s) you will be working with. Agencies/clinics often run background checks or get other measures to make sure that they are getting honest answers. Falsifying information could put you in both legal and medical danger.