What’s in a contract, and other FAQ’s

Why Law Office of Susan Katzman?

Why Law Office of Susan Katzman? Your journey is our journey. We listen, and then we respond to your individual concerns. We can be available to you, as a client, at your convenience, to speak with you, to answer questions, to address your concerns, to provide support. You will have a phone number to reach Susan Katzman directly when you call. We are proud to be able to provide this kind of support.


Why turn to egg donation to have a child?

The need for egg donation arises for many reasons. A woman may not be able to use her own eggs to have a child: when her own eggs cannot generate a viable pregnancy or the changes of generating a viable pregnancy are so low that a physician recommends egg donation; due to advanced reproductive age or early onset of menopause; due to premature ovarian failure where a woman stops producing eggs at an early age; if her reproductive organs have been damaged through chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or surgically removed due to disease of other circumstances; due to a genetic disorder that renders her infertile. For some, the reason is undiagnosed infertility and they continue to be unsuccessful using their own eggs. Egg Donation is also a viable option for single men, male couples, and transgender individuals.


Do intended parents have complete decision-making power over the disposition of the donated eggs and resulting embryos?

In California, the Penal Code places restrictions on the power of intended parents as to donated sperm, ova (eggs) or embryos in assisted reproduction technology. California Penal Code Section 367(g) states:

a) It shall be unlawful for anyone to knowingly use sperm, ova, or embryos in assisted reproduction technology, for any purpose other than that indicated by the sperm, ova, or embryo provider’s signature on a written consent form.

b) It shall be unlawful for anyone to knowingly implant any sperm, ova, or embryos, through the use of assisted reproduction technology, into a recipient who is not the sperm, ova, or embryo provider, without the signed written consent of the sperm, ova, or embryo provider and recipient.

Egg donation agreements should clearly state the parties' intentions regarding the disposition of the donated eggs and any resulting embryos created with the donated eggs. This is a very personal decision, and often a difficult decision to make. Whatever decision is made, it must be agreed upon by all parties to the egg donation agreement. Choices include several options: of course, the intent is first for intended parents to have a child by transferring embryos to the intended mother’s or a surrogate's body for intended parents to have a child. Remaining embryos can be cryopreserved for the intended parents own future use for the purpose of having a child, or donated for the purpose of medical research, or donated to another person or persons for that person or persons to have a child, or the embryos can be terminated.



What are some of the issues that should be included in an egg donation or gestational surrogacy agreement?

  • Intentions of the parties
  • Financial responsibility of intended parents
  • Confidentiality
  • Egg donor's and/or surrogate's responsibilities
  • Egg donor's and/or surrogate's fee and what the fee covers
  • Risks involved
  • Medical insurance
  • Physical and psychological evaluations
  • Will the egg donor be anonymous or non-anonymous?
  • What will be the disposition of any remaining embryos?
  • How long will the egg donor/surrogate be available?



What is the difference between anonymous and non-anonymous donors?

An important issue to address in the agreement between intended parents and egg donors is whether the parties will be anonymous or non-anonymous to each other.This is a personal choice.There is no formula that works for everyone.When you use eggs from an anonymous donor, the donor and intended parent(s) have agreed not to exchange any identifying information, other than perhaps first names or initials. The intended parents generally still have access to certain information regarding the donor, e.g., a photograph of the donor and her children, if any, and a profile detailing such things as her personal characteristics, fertility history, health history, work history, education, and family health history.



Can the egg donor find out if the embryos created using her eggs resulted in a pregnancy and birth?

Yes, as agreed between egg donor and intended parent(s). The contract between the intended parent(s) and donor can specify that donor is entitled to find out if the embryos created using her eggs resulted in a pregnancy and birth.


What if you want to be able to have contact between you and the donor, or between your child and the donor in the future?

You may have no desire to have any contact with the donor at the time you select your donor, or at any time in the future.Or you may not have even thought about that, understandably, being focused on being pregnant. What if you want to obtain medical information from the donor after a child is born?Or what if your child would like to contact the donor because of the genetic link? Or what if you want to know if your donor also donated to others, resulting in the birth of a child(ren), who would be genetically linked to your child?And an important question is, what is in the best interest of the child to be born? (See "Research" page at www.donorsiblingregistry.com for more information. )

A provision in your egg donation agreement that the parties may contact each other would provide for the possibility that you can contact each other if you so desire, and would alleviate the fear that contacting each other would be a breach of the contract. Maintaining anonymity is still possible.



How do you provide in the contract for the possibility of future contact between intended parents and donor?

Sometimes an agreement provides that the parties may communicate through the physician regarding medical issues, whether or not the physician has agreed to be an intermediary for such a purpose

Another option would be to have a third party, such as the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) serve as a liaison for the parties. You can still maintain your anonymity when you register with DSR. You can include language in your agreement with the donor that the parties agree that if any of the parties or the child desires contact with each other, he/she may communicate that desire through the DSR.If the parties are mutually agreeable to having contact, then they may communicate through the DSR or another mutually agreed upon method of communication.



What is fair compensation for being an egg donor?

Intended parents decision to use donor eggs is very personal, and can be a very difficult decision to make. Egg donors should understand the anguish experienced by intended parents unable to conceive a child without assisted reproductive medicine and want to help others experience the joys of having a child. Monetary compensation should not be the main motivating factor. Yet, compensation to an egg donor should be fair and reasonable.

The details about retrieving eggs from a donor include injections, surgery, timing, medical insurance, risks, discomfort, lack of success in freezing unfertilized eggs, and possible side effects from medication. When a woman chooses to help a couple by being an egg donor, she agrees to follow, like clockwork, the medical regimen given to her by the physician. The regimen includes taking daily injections for a specified period of time, going to the physician's office to be monitored, and then undergoing the egg retrieval process. The daily injections are to stimulate the ovaries to produce as many ovarian follicles as safely as is possible. There is also a final injection of a different drug administered to release the eggs for the retrieval. Then there is the egg retrieval, which requires local anesthesia for an ultrasound-guided aspiration.

Whatever you may have heard in the media about compensation to egg donors, The Law Office of Susan Katzman has found that the generally accepted amount paid to an egg donor is in the area of $5,000. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is a professional association dedicated to the advancement of the art, science, and practice of reproductive medicine. The ASRM Ethics Committee has established the guideline that compensation paid to egg donors above $10,000 is not appropriate.



How can you be sure that your name, and not the gestational surrogate’s name, will be on the birth certificate?

When the assisted reproduction involves a gestational surrogate, a court order is necessary to establish that the intended parents are the legal parents and that neither the surrogate (nor her husband, if surrogate is married) has any legal responsibilities or rights. Susan personally attends to every detail so that this process is a smooth one. This includes working with hospital personnel to assure that the intended parents names will be on the birth certificate as ordered by the court, and that the baby is released from the hospital to the intended parents.


Legal disclaimer:

The information on this website is for general information and advertising purposes. This information is not intended to be legal advice for you to rely on. We welcome your inquiries and recommend that you contact this office for specific questions. Susan Katzman is licensed to practice law in the State of California. Links to third party content are for general information only. The Law Office of Susan Katzman is not responsible for any third-party content and disclaims any responsibility for and liability with respect to the contents of any third-party sites that may be linked to this site.


Infertility affects approximately 1 in 6 couples. It can be a painful, stressful and emotional experience. By the time you decide to create your family with the help of third-party assisted reproductive medicine, you may be a walking encyclopedia on your medical condition and have experienced emotional ups and downs, but what about the legal aspects? You need to have a properly written agreement to be sure your intentions are clear and will be upheld.

Areas of Practice:

  • Egg Donation
    • Gestational Surrogacy
      • Embryo Donation
        • Sperm Donation

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