With no federal regulations governing sperm donation, the laws surrounding sperm donation can be quite confusing. Sperm donation law and parental rights vary from state to state. However, despite the lack of uniform legislation, there are still some basic rules that apply to sperm donors across the country. Here are some of the common laws surrounding sperm donation.
Before the donation occurs there is typically a contract signed between the donors and the parents. These contracts list the rights of everyone involved with the donation process, and can be tailored to each individual donation. Typically if a child is born through sperm donation and the donor is not the mother’s husband, the donor will not have parental rights or obligations to take care of the child.
There is an automatic presumption that after the donation process occurs, the donor gives up their parental rights. The only exception to this rule is if there was an agreement made between the donor and the parents prior to the actual donation process occurring.
The insemination process should occur at a medical facility with a doctor presiding as a witness. Should any legal issues come up between donor and the parents-to-be, doctors at medical facilities are regarded as a better witness than if the insemination process occurred at home.
Issues with Contracts
In some cases even if there is a written contract between both parties, a court may enforce parental obligations upon the donor. Some state laws take priority over these contracts, such as a Pennsylvania state law which states that genetics determines legal parentage.
Those involved in the sperm donation process should always create a contract before going through with the donation. However, due to the lack of uniform legislation, these contracts are not definitive in the eyes of the court. If the mother is single, it is possible for the donor to sue for custody rights. Likewise, the mother can sue the donor for child support.
When it comes to sperm donation, the many legal loopholes can make the whole process appear quite confusing and contradicting.
These loopholes make it imperative that both the donors and the parents-to-be hire legal representation before any part of the donation process occurs. This is to ensure that both parties are treated fairly during the donation processes, and everyone comes out of the scenario for the better.