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Are sperm donors granted parental rights?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2021 | Egg & Sperm Donation |

California has been known for some high-profile cases regarding a sperm donor’s right to parental custody. It’s certainly not alone in dealing with this subject. More complicated cases are put before the courts of this country each year. However, previous cases have shed some light on when a sperm donor can and cannot be granted parental rights.

It all starts with the donation

One of the biggest factors that comes into play with these types of cases is how the sperm donation was arranged. There are two main methods, and which was employed can decide a case. In the first method, the sperm donor knows the mother and agrees to provide sperm for her assisted reproduction. When this method is used, it’s highly advisable that both the mother and the donor enter into a written contract specifying that the donor will not be a parent.

The second method entails the donor going to a sperm bank and never meeting the mother. When a male donates sperm at a sperm bank, they will likely enter into a contract. This contract will state that the donor is waiving all of their parental rights when the sperm bank purchases their sperm. With this method, there’s a third person involved so that the donor and the mother never meet.

Watch out for parental-like relationships

While the second scenario above is fairly straightforward, the first can open up some legal issues for the mother. If the donor ends up developing a parent-like relationship with the child, things can get complicated. This area of the law is still a bit gray when there is no written contract between the mother and the donor.

For women who want to be mothers, assisted reproduction may be a necessity. This type of birth can raise some common legal questions regarding the sperm donor and their rights. If you’re thinking of undergoing assisted reproduction, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney about establishing a written donor agreement that is in your best interests.