Florida couples, including same sex couples, who have difficulty conceiving a child have limited reproductive options when it comes to planning for a family. One increasingly popular option is to use a sperm donor. Before beginning this process, however, it is important to have a law firm on your side with extensive experience in assisted reproductive law. After all, protecting your parental rights is crucial as you welcome a new child into your family.
Florida Law Protects Parental Rights
Florida Statutes Section 742.14 states that donors of any egg, sperm, or pre-embryo – other than the commissioning couple – shall relinquish all rights and obligations with respect to the donation or the resulting child
ren. This law not only protects the couple using the donated sperm, but it also protects the sperm donor from future legal obligations. If you are planning to become a parent through the use of a sperm donor, it is important to understand the legalities of your decision and the contract you are entering.
Many sperm donor agreements include specifications such as:
- Rights to contact with a conceived child
- Rights to parental responsibility or timesharing
- Rights to adoption of the conceived child
- Compensation for the sperm donation
- Protection from financial responsibility
While many couples use standardized sperm donor agreements, it is in your best interest to draft one that is tailored to your unique situation. Choosing a law firm that is well versed in reproductive law is an important step towards preserving your parental rights and safeguarding your future.
Florida Law Protects Sperm Donors
While Florida law and court precedents protect sperm donors from being required to pay child support and assume other parental responsibilities, sperm donors should also have a customized agreement drafted. A custom sperm donor agreement will protect the sperm donor from any future financial and legal responsibilities that may not be covered by Florida law. In cases where the donor is a “known donor,” care must also be taken to establish boundaries regarding confidentiality and future contact.
A sperm donor agreement should clearly define the rights of both the sperm donor and the recipients of the sperm, so that no disputes arise in the future. Even though Florida law stipulates that sperm donors have no parental rights to the child when using assisted reproductive technology, it is highly recommended that sperm donors retain an attorney to complete a formal termination of parental rights after the birth of the child. If the sperm donor wishes to retain parental rights, a contract will need to be drafted with the consent of the biological mother that specifies they are a “commissioning couple.”
Contact Our Miami Reproductive Lawyers Today
If you are considering artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, or sperm donation in Miami, Coral Gables, or anywhere in the state of Florida, you may have questions regarding your contract or your rights. The Miami reproductive lawyers at the Carolan Family Law Firm, P.A. are here to help. Our lawyers have helped protect Florida families through all of life’s challenges, and look forward to speaking with you to learn more about your unique situation. Contact us today at (305) 358-2330.