Gamete Donation

If your approach to family building includes egg, sperm or embryo donation, Ohio law supports you. Ohio outlines rights and responsibilities in embryo donation and sperm donation by statutory law. When followed precisely, the donor of embryo or sperm will have no parental rights. Those rights will be vested in the recipient. Though Ohio does not have a statute on egg donation, in applying the Equal Protections Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, egg donors must be treated as sperm donors would and thus, your rights as a recipient should be the same. The Ohio statute on embryo donation specifically excludes the circumstance where the recipient does not intend to gestate the child. However, most Courts treat embryo donation the same way as they treat egg donation and sperm donation in their recognition of the recipient as the intended and legal parent.

Sometimes there is an interest in formalizing the rights and obligations of donor and recipient into a contract. Among other issues, this might be important to set forth expectations as to continued disclosure of medical issues that might arise or a promise to provide tissue or bone marrow if the resulting child should need it. It also can set forth certain responsibilities for maintaining confidentiality as it relates to friends, family, and the child.

Because of the absence of a statute on egg donation in Ohio, you may want more than the Consent to Donate that your donor will sign at the clinic as evidence of her intention to relinquish her rights to the donated gametes. A contract can do this for you. Further, with the absence of a statute on egg donation in Ohio, you may want to consider securing a court order once the child is born that adjudicates your status as a parent. It is impossible to predict what court and in which state your parental rights might be questioned. A court order is more likely to be given full faith and credit in another state. This question, and others related to gamete donation, is complicated and requires competent and experienced counsel.