From Inside The Agency

From Inside The Agency

Egg donation, egg donation, egg donation…whether I am speaking in a private meeting with individual clients or whether I am addressing a larger audience on assisted family building, the first thing I acknowledge is the many moving parts prospective parents have to grab hold of, I know that the complexities of donor egg can be overwhelming. Before I address donor selection (I do have some objective recommendations on donor identification but I do also recognize how very subjective donor choice is), I always talk about agency practices. What I hope to get prospective parents to understand is just how much working with a reliable and competent agency matters.

At my law practice, I have the pleasure of working with many agencies across the country. I work with small boutique practices, large national agencies and those that focus their services on a specific recipient parent (of unique ethnicity, e.g.). Because I have access to such a wealth of agency knowledge, agency perspective, I have decided that, from time-to-time, I will bring to my readers insight from agency staff.
This morning I am sharing a conversation I had with Donna Daley at Prospective Families. Full disclosure: I founded Prospective Families and I hand-picked Donna Daley as our first employee not only because of her in-depth experience with donor egg but also because of the tremendous regard and respect the New England fertility community holds for Donna. I no longer own Prospective Families, I have moved on from running an agency and focus solely on my law practice. Donna Daley has continued on at Prospective Families and she continues to inform me with her thoughts on how to best manage a donor cycle:

Of course, everyone is focused on a pregnancy, so besides the uncertainty about getting pregnant, what is the most common concern that you hear from prospective parents about the process? “The cost of the whole process is a huge concern for many couples. Many couples from across the country do not have insurance and therefore pay out of pocket for the agency, donor expenses and clinic fees, it is expensive and sadly there are so many that have not spoken to their clinic or an agency out this. There is help, there just needs to be guidance.”

What questions of a legal nature do you hear from prospective parents? “Intended Parents want to make sure that their donor is not going to be knocking on their door some years down the road. Anonymity is key for them. Many times the Intended Parents also want to ensure that they and only they are able to be the only ones making decisions about embryos created from the egg donation cycle. They want to make sure however that should medical info be needed after a child is born, that the donor will be available to answer questions or get info that might be needed. These are just a few things that I have heard over the years.”

What do donors ask about legal representation? Are most donors already aware that they will work with an attorney? “Yes all of our donors are aware that they will have legal counsel, we cover this during our seminars and stress the importance of it. They understand that the legal aspect is to protect them as well as the parents and child born from egg donation. Again, the donors concern is much like the Intended Parents and that is to remain anonymous if that is what is agreed on.”

How does having a reproductive lawyer help your clients? “They know and understand that this legal contract is in place to protect them and their child/children and they feel comforted by that.”

What do you look for in making a reproductive attorney referral? “What I look for is an attorney that will meet the needs of my Intended Parents, knowledgeable, kind, informative and organized.”

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