Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS) Ethics Standard Agency Agreements re: Egg Donation with Intended Parents
Egg Donor and Surrogacy Agencies enter into contractual relationships with their “customers”, known as Intended Parents (IP). Intended Parents may be a heterosexual or homosexual
couple or may be a single person (technically an “Intended Parent”).
The contractual relationship whose terms are embodied in the Agency’s agreement with IPs (“Agency Agreement”) is intended to define the responsibilities of and risks undertaken by the IPs and the Agency, in relationship to a specific egg donation transaction between the IPs and an egg donor.
It is anticipated that some of the responsibilities and risks identified in the Agency Agreement may also be included in an Agreement between the IPs and the Egg Donor (“Legal Agreement”). Where the terms specified in the Agency Agreement differ from those in the Legal Agreement, the latter generally take precedence.
The IPs and the Egg Donor are generally represented by separate counsel in the drafting and negotiation of the Legal Agreement. Though the IPs may be represented by counsel in the drafting and negotiation of the Agency Agreement, that is not usually the case.
Agency Agreements should generally include at least the following sections:
- Purpose of the Agreement
- Representations of the Parties
- Services Provided by the Agency
- Responsibilities of Intended Parents
- Agency Fee, Payment, and Refunds Schedule and Policy
- Donor Fees and Expenses Details
- Parental Rights of IPs and Release of Rights by Donor
- Assumption of Risks by IP
- Maintenance of Records by Agency and Future Contact Between IP and Donor
- Independent Legal Counsel Advice
- Term of Agreement
- Disclosure and Waiver of Agency’s Potential Conflict of Interest
- Process for Dispute Resolution
Agency Agreements should be written in language readily understood by non attorney IPs, be as inclusive as necessary without being overly lengthy, and very legible. IPs should be given sufficient time to review the Agency Agreement and be allowed to ask any questions they may have before being expected to execute the Agreement and provide any payment.
If IPs choose to be represented by counsel regarding the Agency Agreement, Agency should entertain all questions asked and modifications requested by counsel before expecting IPs to execute the Agreement.
The Agreement should provide for signatures of all IP parties and an authorized representative of the Agency as well as for initials of all parties on each page of the Agreement.