Often the agency is the only entity that has the true and complete identifying and contact information for all parties involved in an egg donation and surrogacy agreement. Although this is less true for surrogacy, the agency still acts as a facilitator and generally communicates with all parties to an agreement.
Many anonymous egg donation contracts between the IPs and Egg Donors state that each party may contact the other in the future to discuss medical concerns or genetic questions. Furthermore, the donor is often under a legal obligation to keep the IPs informed of any health conditions she may develop that have a genetic component. In order to facilitate this communication, the donor is often advised to provide her agency with this information so that it may be passed along to the IPs should it become necessary.
The agency should keep all identifying and contact information for all parties. The agency must bear the burden of maintaining all records as long as they are in operation, with18 years being the minimum. The records need not be in the form of a hard copy longer than one year, as long as they are in a well-organized and easily searchable database.
If the agency closes their doors, they should be obligated to contact all parties and use their best efforts to disseminate records to each party rather than destroying them. Best practices shall include the following attempts to contact the parties in an effort to distribute records: (1) Send an email through a trackable system like Constant Contact, etc.; (2) Follow up with certified mail through USPS to those that do not respond to the email; (3) Contact the parties at their last known phone number if they have not responded to email or regular mail. The Parties should be given 6 months notice in order to collect their records. If the agency is selling to a new entity, then they should be required to take the same steps, but shall be permitted a shorter time window of 60 days as the records will simply be transferred rather than destroyed.
In order to maintain accurate records the agencies should attempt to collect medical updates from their egg donors annually by sending emails to all active and inactive Egg Donors in their database.
In order for agencies to best protect themselves from liability, they should use up-to-date technology to collect, store and search data for each case. This technology should include password encryption. (For physical documents, they should be kept in a secure storage systems).