In the hopes of easing potential legal complications involving embryo donations, California has codified new laws.
In August, the governor signed Assembly Bill 2495, an expansion of the state’s Family Code, into law. This bill addresses parental rights associated with assisted reproduction, specifically targeting parental rights regarding embryo, sperm and ova donators.
Embryo donors not considered legal parents
The main subject of this new bill addresses parental rights. The law now states that the providers of an embryo have no rights as a parent if they donate it to someone other than a spouse or nonmarital partner. Instead, the intended parent gains parental rights and gets named as the natural parent of the child. If a donor intends to be the parent, this law does not apply.
Consent required for sperm, egg donors
Another signification portion of the bill addresses the rights of egg and sperm donors that created the embryo. Whether a couple uses in vitro fertilization and decides to donate viable embryos, or the embryo has formed via different donors, each donor must provide written consent to relinquish or waive their rights to their genetic reproduction tissue. That means that the sperm and ova donor of any embryo must provide consent for further donation. By requiring consent, this eliminates questions of parental rights involving embryo donation.
This bill passed unanimously and with bipartisan support. This shows that as alternate reproduction methods get more common, laws like this pave the way for additional legislation to address other potential legal complications.