Family Magazine

Understanding the Legal Aspect of Sperm Donation

By Momatlast @momatlast

The legal rights of a sperm or egg donor are continually changing, and it’s fair to say that each court has their own thought on the subject. Since it is a fluctuating subject, and the decisions of the courts are constantly changing, it is recommended to speak with a lawyer who is up-to-date and familiar with the laws pertaining to donor rights.

Sperm Donation

Parental Responsibility

Do sperm donors have any obligations or parental rights? In a sense, no, however, there are some exceptions to this. In many states, the obligations and parental rights are given up by a true sperm donor. Most of the states that provide this type of protection state that if the donor is not the mother’s husband, then:

1. The donor has no obligation, right or interest of the child born from artificial insemination.
2. Likewise, the child born through artificial insemination has no obligation, right or interest of the donor.

Birth Certificate Name

If there is an agreement that the child’s birth certificate will bear the donor’s name, it will give parental responsibility to the donor. This will include any type of inheritance the child receives in the event of the donor’s death and financial responsibility.

Anonymous Donors

Sperm donation that is truly anonymous typically is done through a sperm bank, and is fine with most states. Because the contract is through the sperm bank and not with the recipient or mother, the donor’s anonymity, obligations and rights will be upheld in most cases. However, some states will grant the child the right to learn their genetic father’s identity once they turn 18, even coming through anonymous sperm donations, therefore, the sperm donor should contact a lawyer and discuss their rights prior to making a committed decision.

Open Donors

The open or “known” donor has made an agreement that the child after turning 18, may find out their identity. Neither the parents nor the clinic will receive this information. The parent needs to understand that although the open donor provided his sperm, he will not be the child’s father. A true father is present physically in the child’s life and helps provide the bet conditions for the child with the mother.

Consulting with a Lawyer

Should the sperm donor consult with a lawyer before donating? It is a very noble decision to help create a life so others can have children, however, every relationship changes, and when that happens, custody battles and other heartbreaking and ugly legal problems can arise. The states are constantly changing their laws, and courts are coming up with new decisions each day, so it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer who is specialized in this area.

About the Author:

Relene Mac has been a freelance writer for over 3 years and has experience writing about fertility and sperm donation topics. To learn more information regarding your rights as a sperm donor, she recommends visiting California Cryobank. Other topics that she writes on include alternative energy, healthy living, home design, career advancement, finance, travel, SEO marketing and website content.

Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

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