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  1. #1
    alicesmum Guest

    Default eggs vs sperm & legal issues etc

    have been following these threads a little bit and wanted to pose a couple of questions for the egg donation advocates/experts!

    if you know lots about egg donation stuff and/or have been personally involved with it, would you mind taking a quick skim of this thread i recently started about sperm donation:

    http://www.bubhub.com.au/community/f...ad.php?t=17382

    the overwhelming feeling of the ppl who responded was that they would not feel cool with their partner donating sperm (nor donate eggs themselves).

    anyway, my partner ended up saying no to my query about donating to a good friend of mine due to potential future legal issues. however, I have put the offer of my eggs out there already (though am very hopeful she will still fall with her own eggs) and now am freaking out a bit about the legal/child support type issues.

    to illustrate, an ex-colleague of my mothers who is gay wanted a baby, so she made a casual/informal agreement with a gay male friend of hers and, using a turkey baster, got pregnant to him. she was 39 and the child (who is now ~ 6 months) ended up having Down's Syndrome and the mother is now hoping that the biological dad (who was never going to be involved) will help out physically and financially (as I imagine a Downs child is lots of hard work). She has a female partner, but is now hitting up the dad as well. This is the kind of scenario that scared the cr*p out of my husband.

    However, they didn't have a legal agreement beforehand. however, DH (who is a solicitor himself) says it doesn't really matter anyway, because there are caveats and because they could change the laws at any stage in the future and that would simply invalidate whatever contract you developed in the first place.

    Can someone tell me how these issues are not the same for egg donation (or are they?)

    thanks in advance!!!!

  2. #2
    sarahstarfish's Avatar
    sarahstarfish is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Alicesmum

    Great reading in the other thread!

    When you donate through a clinic, you sign a document releasing you from all responsibility and liability of eggs/sperm once fertilised into embryos. This is a binding legal document. All laws regarding donor conception in Australia have been 'henceforth' and never retrospective. I have donated twice, about to go again, and the legal side of things does not concern me one bit.

    Re the situation where a lesbian couple have a child from a sperm donor and there are future health issues, it would be very hard to pin him down given he donated sperm to them and wanted no part of parenting/supporting the child when the decision was initially made, a decision they obviously agreed to.

    I think we hear so many horror stories from the US, where things are done just so differently with agencies and solicitors and huge sums of money involved. But personally, as long as the paperwork is filled out honestly and all tests taken, I think a donor is extremely safe in donating and not regretting it down the track, well financially at least.

    Love

    Cindy

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    OK pessimist's hat on now...

    But if they (your donor child or their custodial parent) contacted you and were in financial difficulties, could you be so hard hearted so as not to give them money? Even if legally you didn't have to? A question that you'd need to consider...

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    Once you set a precedent how do you stop it occuring again.

  5. #5
    alicesmum Guest
    X you're a clever lady. we thought exactly the same. in fact, my DH said that even if the legal side of things was completely "stitched up"... if the child ended up being seriously ill or disabled, or if you did find out mother and child were having a really hard time of it, you would feel oblidged to help out. and yet, as kim said, you set a prececdent and then feel oblidged ever more (like my mum does to her dirt poor unemployed sister who she regularly gives money to and now can't say no to! so i guess it happens in other relationships too!)

    anyway, the sense of obligation he would feel for the child is what stopped him from saying yes, as much as the potential legal issues.

    it's just such a hard issue because to give the gift of a child to someone who can't fall, but who wants a child so badly, would be so awesome.

    i wish the ******** government would let my friend adopt a child from o/s who is otherwise living in poverty (don't get me started!)

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    Oh YES AlicesMum. Don't get me started in the difficulties of O/S adoptions either. I know that ppl must be properly screened and evaluated, but to place a paltry hundred (200 300, whatever) or so kids a year because of understaffing is RIDICULOUS.

    *OK off soapbox now will skulk off somewhere else*

  7. #7
    alicesmum Guest
    x, my friend will never be able to adopt because she is single and by the time she meets and has been with a partner for 2-3 years as required, she will be disqualified for her age. she would pass the test on every other criterion though. financially very stable, extremely sound morally, and lovely lovely lovely.

    it is ludicrous that a child who she would love and nurture and provide everything for will, instead, be half-starved in an orphanage in Cambodia somewhere.

    anyway, off my sopabox now too.

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    I *think* it depends on where you are adopting from and the agency you use.

    I know of quite a few single women in Canberra who have adopted children, from China and Ethiopia. One of these women is "due" to collect her new daughter from China very soon.

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    Hi Roxy
    Something buried in my memory says that it's prob different state to state. I know that age restrictions vary, prob marital status does to.

    However now with my mod hat on I'll say that this is a bit off topic and if we want to keep discussing o/s adoption rather than egg/sperm donation we should start a new thread.

    Unless AlicesMum has all the answers she was after????

  10. #10
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    Hey Ladies

    Interesting discussion - they are two separate issues though aren't they, legal and emotional. Legally, there is no doubt in my mind that the legal contract signed to protect both recipients and donors is water-tight - I just can not see a court in Australia allowing a completely legal agreement between two parties to be dabbled with.

    With regards to financial support for a donor conceived child from a donor (and now I think we are truly talking completely hypothetical as even in the evil US this has been reported a handful of times and only with outside-clinic sperm donations) I think it would depend on how the donor saw their donation - some see their gift of genes as about as important as donating blood. Others, thankfully the growing majority, understand that their unique genes are going to create half of a life that will in most likelihood, want to know where they come from, meet their donor and their genetic half-siblings, and have hundreds of questions. WIth a known donor, it would be very hard to say no to 'friends' in need and the lives you understand have come from you....would certainly be a no-brainer for me.

    Love

    Cindy


 

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