The laws surrounding egg donation in the United States are not uniform across the country. In fact, some states do not have any laws regarding the egg donation process at all. Fourteen of the fifty states do not address egg donation at all. This lack of federal regulation can make it confusing to understand the rights women have as egg donors. Here are some of the facts regarding egg donation law.
2002 Uniform Parentage Act
The Uniform Parentage Act is not a law. However, it is a model offered to states that they can adopt should they not have any legislation regarding egg donation already. This act addresses the various forms of assisted reproduction like egg donation, sperm donation, and embryo donation. The act is made up of various sections, each stating legal guidelines that should be followed when it comes to assisted reproduction. The act states the following.
- The egg donor is not the legal parent of the child
- A man who has provided sperm or consents to assisted reproduction of a women with the intent to be the father, is the father
- Consent from both the intended mother and father must be in writing. However failure to sign the document does not defeat legal parentage
- During the first two years of the child’s life the man and women need to reside with the child and hold themselves out to be the child’s parents
- If divorce occurs before the implementation, the former husband is no longer considered the father
Differences in Law by State
Only eight states (AL, DE, NM, ND, TX, UT, WA, WY) follow the Uniform Parentage Act in its entirety. Twenty seven states do not have laws that address egg donation at all. Some states, while they do not follow the Uniform Parentage Act, address egg donation law somewhere in their state legislation. These states and their laws are as follows.
- California – Any advertisement for egg donation for use in fertility treatment must include warning regarding the egg donation process
- Colorado – When a woman undergoes in vitro with a donated egg, she is the natural mother. If the husband undergoes, he is the natural father
- Connecticut – Anonymous egg donors have no right or interest in the child born
- District of Columbia – The woman who gives birth is presumed to be the natural mother of the child
- Florida – If both the husband and wife have written consent, a child born to them from the use of egg donation is theirs
- Louisiana – The sale of human ovum is prohibited. The women who gives birth is presumed to be the legal mother
- Ohio – The women that gives birth is the natural mother of the child
- New Hampshire – Any donor must be medically screened and deemed acceptable as a donor
- New York – The egg donor is not the legal mother of a child
- Oklahoma – If Both the husband and wife have a written consent, the child born to them is legally their child
- Virginia – The woman who gives birth is the natural mother. The donor is not a parent.