Due to the fact that a medical procedure is required for egg donation, this type of donation is done exclusively through clinics. Although there is no New York statutory or case law addressing this type of donation, the New York State Department of Health has a section on their website entitled “Becoming An Egg Donor”, that permits compensation of egg donors, in addition to reimbursement for expenses incurred in the process.
An egg donation agreement should be entered into prior to the beginning of medications leading up to the egg donation. Egg donation is a serious medical procedure and both the donor and the intended parents need to be aware of the risks and consider how the donor will be insured and compensated for any complications that occur. Both sides should be represented by independent counsel in the negotiation and execution of the agreement. The intended parents typically pay the attorneys’ fees for the egg donor.
In cases where the intended mother gives birth to a child conceived via donor egg, the mother and her spouse, if any, are listed on the child’s birth certificate. However, an agreement between the donor and intended parents is needed even in this context. As there is no law in New York that specifies the rights of an egg donor, it is unclear what the rights of the respective parties would be if parentage were ever contested by an egg donor. In the event of litigation, the egg donation agreement would provide important information about the intent of the parties at the time of the donation.
In cases where intended fathers are the recipient of the egg donation, the services of a gestational carrier will be needed. For more information on this process, please see our sections on Gestational Carriers, Surrogacy, and Intended Parents.
Couples or individuals who have frozen eggs left after they have finished creating their family also need to consider how the eggs will be treated in the event of a divorce or upon their passing. The disposition of frozen eggs, embryos, and sperm should be addressed in an agreement between the parties and in each of their Wills.