Sperm Donation

By donating sperm, you can help people to become parents. Before making a donation, it’s extremely important that you work with an experienced attorney to create a binding sperm donor contract that protects you legally.

Jennifer and Catelyn can help you negotiate a sperm donor agreement in D.C., Virginia or Maryland that ensures your protection to the extent possible under the law. Contact us now for a consultation regarding sperm donor contracts in MD, VA and D.C., or read on for more general information about sperm donor laws.

Why Donate Sperm?

Some couples work with an egg donor and/or sperm donor when using a gestational surrogate. Some intended parents might choose a sperm donor and use their own healthy egg to carry a pregnancy themselves. There are many ways that a sperm donor can help hopeful parents to grow their families, and in return, sperm donors can be compensated for their time and participation through cryobank donations.

Jennifer is one of the most experienced attorneys in the region at helping people to become parents. She knows firsthand that there are many individuals, same-sex couples, and other couples who are unable to conceive or carry a child whose lives could be changed by you as a sperm donor.

Our firm is also incredibly experienced at representing and protecting sperm donors through sperm donor contracts, so you can help people to become parents without having to worry about your own rights or responsibilities in the process.

Sperm Donor Requirements

Because you’ll be contributing your genes to a potential child, the requirements for sperm donors can be picky. Most importantly, potential sperm donors must be healthy and free from any sexually transmitted diseases or genetic diseases.

Specific sperm donor requirements can vary between donor clinics and, to some extent, the preferences of the intended parents. For example, while you may meet all the requirements of a clinic, an intended parent may be looking for a sperm donor of a particular race, height, or even personality type.

But most sperm donation clinics require that potential donors:

  • Meet a minimum height requirement, around 5’ 8” or taller for most clinics
  • Be between the ages of about 19-35
  • Be healthy
  • Be legally allowed to work in the U.S.
  • Be currently attending college, or have a college degree

If you meet a clinic’s initial requirements, you’ll be medically screened, interviewed, and tested to ensure that your sperm count is high. Sperm donors must provide an extensive family history and will be genetically screened to ensure that you aren’t a potential carrier for genetic diseases that could be passed on to a child.

These requirements may seem strict, but this is done to ensure that any child born from your sperm and any woman who would become pregnant using your sperm sample would both be healthy. A sperm donor’s participation in this screening process is vital.

The Legal Process of Sperm Donation

In most cases, intended parents choose to use anonymous sperm donors through a cryobank. However, some families use a known donor for personal reasons. The laws pertaining to known sperm donors are much different than the use of a donor through a cryobank. It is important that both the intended parents and the donor have separate legal counsel, as the sperm donor contract must be clear and the legal risks understood by all parties.

It is important to have a written legal sperm donor agreement between the intended parents and the sperm donor if using either a partially known or known donor. This agreement will delineate fully and clearly the rights of the parties. It will make clear that the donor voluntarily relinquishes all rights to the sperm and also neither has rights to make any decisions over the fate of the donated sperm or any embryos nor any parental rights over any child(ren) born using the sperm. The agreement will also protect the sperm donor by making it clear that the resulting child is the child of the intended parents. It will also stipulate that the sperm donor has no parental obligations over such child, regardless of whether the child is born with any birth defects or other problems. As with a surrogacy contract, intended parents can protect the viability of the donor agreement by paying an agreed-upon sum for the donor to have independent legal representation.

Each situation is fact-specific and, depending of the family type and parties involved, there may be different issues that need to be resolved and different levels of participation by a donor. For example, a known sperm donor to a lesbian couple will likely have to consent to a second parent adoption after the child is born, even if there is a sperm donor agreement stating the donor has no parental rights. This may change as the law catches up to technology, but working with an experienced professional is the best way to limit the risks involved and protect yourself.

We’ll work with you to create a sperm donor agreement and waiver of rights that will ensure your legal protection in accordance with the law, as well as protect your identity if you donate anonymously and prevent the possibility of you ever having to assume parental rights over any child. Call us to learn more about the legal process of sperm donation and how we can represent you through that process.

The Medical Process of Sperm Donation

A sample of your frozen semen will be used to create an embryo using a donated egg or the egg of an intended mother. If an embryo is created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) in a lab, that embryo will be transferred to either an intended mother or a gestational surrogate’s uterus. Or, the sperm may be injected into a traditional surrogate or an intended mother using intrauterine insemination.

Unlike egg donors, the medical process for sperm donors is non-invasive, and requires very little time investment. But like egg donors and surrogates, sperm donors must be carefully screened prior to donating to ensure that they’re medically and mentally healthy enough to become a sperm donor, particularly to ensure that they’re free of any diseases that could be transmitted to the recipient of their sperm.

As with any medical process, you should educate yourself about the process of sperm donation, as well as the potential ways your sperm donation may be used to create a family, prior to committing to the process.

How We Help Sperm Donors in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

By working with attorneys like Jennifer and Catelyn who are experienced with sperm donation laws in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, you can protect yourself with a legal sperm donor contract. This prevents you from ever being put in the position of assuming parental rights over a child created with your sperm, protects your identity if you wish to remain anonymous, ensures that you receive the compensation that you’re due and more.

Contact us now for a sperm donation legal contract consultation if you’re interested in helping people to become parents.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax

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