Medical and Legal Issues with Embryo Donation

What are the medical steps that both donor and recipient families must take with embryo donation? What legal issues must be addressed with this form of family building? Our guest to talk about embryo donation are Dr. Craig Sweet, board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility as well as obstetrics & gynecology. He is medical and laboratory director of the Specialists In Reproductive Medicine & Surgery and Embryo Donation International in Fort Myers, Florida, and has been voted the region’s top reproductive endocrinologist by Gulfshore Life for every year since 2004. We also have reproductive law attorney Stephanie Caballero, also known as the Surrogacy Lawyer. Her practice focuses on surrogacy, embryo donation, and egg and sperm donation, and she brings her own experience with infertility to her practice.

Hit the Highlights
  • What is medically required for a woman wanting to use donor embryos to get pregnant?
  • How and where are embryos obtained for donation?
  • Legally, what has to take place for an embryo to be donated to another couple?
  • Can any couple that has frozen embryos that they will not use donate them? What do they need to do?
  • To whom can they donate their embryos?
  • Is it possible to use a known embryo donor?
  • Does embryo donation or embryo adoption require physically moving embryos to a new location?
  • Do you have the donated embryos shipped to your infertility clinic? And will all doctors accept embryos that were not created in their lab?
  • Are there specific regulations that must be complied with to ship embryos? Who sees that these regulations are met?
  • Are donated embryos less robust and less likely to implant and grow because they were created by an infertile couple?
  • What is the success rate for embryo donation?
  • How much information will recipient couples or women get about the donating couple?
  • How much information will the donating couple receive on the receiving couple? How much control can embryo donors exert over who gets their embryos?
  • What percentage of the embryos that have been donated are created using the egg and sperm of the donating couple, or are they created with either or both donated egg and sperm?
  • Is the embryo donation/adoption process any different if the egg and or sperm were donated?
  • How much info will the recipient couple or woman get on the egg or sperm donor?
  • Is there any cost to the couple or woman that donates their embryos?
  • Can the donating couple recoup any of their costs associated with creating and storing their embryos?
  • What is the cost for the recipient of the donor embryo?
  • Are all of a patient’s excess unused frozen embryos usually donated to the same recipient couple? What happens if they are not able or do not want to use all the embryos? Who is responsible for the embryos at that point?
  • What do parents who build their families through embryo donation tell their kids? They would have full siblings living somewhere.
  • How big is the risk of meeting and marrying between these siblings through embryo donation?
  • Is there current or pending legislation in any states that would REQUIRE or mandate any legal/court process (similar to adoption) for donor embryos?
  • Are there any states where laws or pending legislation is unfavorable for embryo donation (either for the donor or recipient)?