Whether you are a single person, a couple who struggles with infertility, or a same sex couple, when two people need to use the help of others and medical science to help create their family, there are often many questions raised about the legal ramifications of taking these steps.
Ohio Legal Rights and Responsibilities
When you ask a person that you know to donate their genetic material to help create a child, (AKA a known donor) you are taking a risk that this person could be viewed as a parent under the law of the State of Ohio and have legal rights and responsibilities to any child that is born as a result of their donation.
These legal rights and responsibilities include the right to request Custody, Visitation, Financial Support in the form of Child Support, Health Insurance, Payment of Medical Expenses, and more.
In order for paternal/parental rights to be severed for the known donor, Ohio Law of egg and sperm donor require two things:
- That the Donor submit to a series of tests and give their medical history, and
- The insemination be performed by a Physician or someone who is under their supervision or control.
If the sperm is introduced to the egg in any other scenario, and a pregnancy occurs and child is born, those parental rights to the donor are not severed. This is where the Ohio egg and sperm donor agreement comes in. Having a egg and sperm donor agreement in place prior to the conception of the child protects all the parties including the known donor.
The Juvenile Court in Ohio is a court of law and equity that hears cases between unmarried parents regarding their rights and responsibilities towards their children. What this means is that they apply the law to their decisions, but also look at what is fair. If a egg and sperm donor signs the contract agreeing to waive his or her parental rights and responsibilities, and later tries to bring a suit for parental rights, the Ohio egg and sperm donor agreement will be used to show the court that it would be unfair to grant them such a right. A family law attorney will also demonstrate parental fitness and a best interests of the child standard to argue your case.
Now the difference is, if you follow through with the physician insemination and the medical tests/history for the donor, expensive and time consuming as it may be at the outset, the donor will not have any right under Ohio egg and sperm donor law to take you to court in the first place.
Consult With an Experience Family Law Attorney
Always consult with a licensed assisted reproduction attorney if you have any questions or if you would like a sperm donor agreement drafted. Remember, contracts floating around on the internet are not always complete, accurate or in compliance with your states laws and may put your family at risk.
If you are taking the next step and want to use a known donor to help start your family, contact us at The Law Firm of Doty and Obenour we would be happy to talk through your questions and help you get started. We have expertise in family law, adoption law, egg and sperm donor law, divorce/dissolution, child & spousal support, child custody & mediation.