When a family or individual decides it’s time to have children, an increasing amount of people have opted to utilize third-party reproduction methods including surrogacy and egg donations.
With these methods comes a unique set of challenges, with separate legal regulations and requirements, that individuals considering these options need to assess.
Surrogacy is the term for an arrangement between a surrogate — an individual who agrees to carry the child — and the intended parent(s). In these arrangements, the surrogate agrees to give birth to a child for another individual or couple and agrees to surrender the child at birth to the intended parent(s).
Illinois is among the states that support surrogacy, however, it is required that the surrogate and intended parents be represented by separate counsel. With counsel, the parties can create a contract with provisions regarding payment, surrogate activities during pregnancy and after-birth contact that complies with the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act.
The Illinois Parentage Act also allows for the intended parents to establish parentage prior to the birth of the child.
There is currently no law in Illinois governing egg donation. Regardless, it is highly recommended that individuals who use an egg donor seek representation in drafting an “Egg Donor Contract” or “Egg Donor Agreement.” Seeking representation can ensure a written agreement is in place to establish a one-time transaction to donate eggs and not a lifelong commitment.
Other than establishing a written agreement, intended parents who use donor eggs as part of their surrogacy do not encounter any further legal processes beyond the requirements of the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act. However, if neither of the intended parents contributed gametes resulting in a pre-embroyo, the process may differ.
If you are considering surrogacy or genetic material donation and want further guidance, please contact one of our Kogut & Wilson attorneys.