How Lawyers Can Help in Your Donor Conception Journey
If you’ve decided to use donated eggs or sperm to start or grow your family, it can be easy to overlook the legal aspects of the process. But using a specialist Fertility Lawyer can add value, certainty and peace of mind to your donor conception journey.
The law around legal parenthood, parental responsibility and issues such as contact does not always work in the way people expect, so understanding how the law applies to your case means you can avoid nasty surprises and disputes in the future.
Legal fees can seem like an extra financial burden when there’s the cost of fertility treatment and a new baby on the way. It can often seem like a good option to cut to save money, but the benefit of legal advice should not be underestimated.
We always try to take the mystery out of law. Here are some of the ways we can help you through the process and why you should take advice:
1) Helping You Understand Legal Parenthood
Who your donor is and how conception takes place can have wide-reaching consequences on who’ll be recognised as the legal parents for a child born through donor conception.
For example, whether assisted conception takes place at a clinic licensed with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the marital status of those involved can have huge ramifications for legal parenthood.
This can be a hugely complex area. Taking legal advice at the start of the process is an essential part of planning your donor conception journey so that you can be sure it’s right for you.
2) Knowing Your Options
We can also advise on alternative fertility methods if you decide that you want to use another method of building your family after taking expert legal advice on donor conception.
3) Donor Agreements
You may decide that you wish to use someone you know as a sperm or egg donor, whether that’s someone close to you or a distant contact. It may be someone you intend to be in yours and your child’s life forever or even never again.
In those circumstances, you should draw up a written agreement between the intended parents and the donor.
This can set out:
- Everybody’s intentions, expectations and financial duties
- The intended relationship between the donor and child
- General aspects as to your child’s upbringing
- Any other issues that may be helpful to record in your case
This will not be a legally binding contract, but will be a very useful piece of evidence if a dispute arises. It can be a helpful tool to avoid disputes, because it makes sure that everybody is on the same page from the start, and is a good match as regards to what they want from the future.
From years of experience in Fertility Law involving donor conception arrangements, we can help you prepare a donation agreement or guide you through preparing your own.
4) Resolving Disputes
Disputes can arise following donor conception. It may be that the adults involved don’t agree on the roles they may play in a child’s life, as either donor or co-parent.
There may be a dispute about who the legal parent is, or who should have parental responsibility. In the event of a dispute like this, it is important that you consult specialist lawyers. We can use our extensive Family and Fertility Law experience to help you either diffuse, resolve or litigate those disputes.
For expert legal advice on donor conception or any other assisted fertility method get in touch today.
For initial legal advice call our Fertility Law Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.