Potential Pitfalls to Avoid in Surrogacy or Gamete Donation

surrogacy-process-s200x155Science has given prospective parents a plethora of reproductive options that did not exist before. However, some options, although medically or even legally permissible, can be extremely complicated, risky, and/or expensive to pursue.

The following is a list of assisted reproduction choices that could have potentially negative legal consequences. It is extremely important to talk with an attorney (prior to taking any medical action) if you are even considering any of the options below.

  • Traditional Surrogacy (where the gestational carrier carries her own eggs which have been fertilized with intended father’s or donor sperm)

  • Two dads mixing sperm to inseminate donor eggs

  • Implanting two embryos at the same time, one from each intended parent (so an embryo created from the sperm of Dad 1 and an embryo created from the sperm of Dad 2 implanted into gestational carrier’s uterus during the same transfer)

  • Using a known sperm donor

  • Doing donor inseminations at home (without the assistance of a physician), and/or doing donor inseminations “the old-fashioned way” (through sexual intercourse)

  • Using a gestational carrier or donor who is a relative of an intended parent

  • Adopting an embryo who is not genetically related to either intended parent that will be carried by a gestational carrier

  • Creating an embryo using donor sperm and donor eggs, and which will be carried by a gestational carrier such that there is no genetic or biological connection to the intended parent(s)

  • One lesbian partner intending to carry the other lesbian partner’s eggs

  • Using a gestational carrier who lives in a state where surrogacy is prohibited or even criminalized

All of the options above are medically and legally (in North Carolina) possible. But it is vital that the intended parents understand the potential legal and financial consequences of making these choices. Hiring an attorney with experience in assisted reproduction law is crucial here in that the above list represents more of the unusual assisted reproduction scenarios and an attorney who regularly practices in this area is more likely to have encountered these situations before and will know how to properly manage them.

(This article is not intended as medical, psychological, or legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Each family and agreement is unique, so you should hire a competent attorney to advise you specifically about your particular case.)