Legal principles and seminal legal cases in oocyte donation

This essay explores legal regulation of oocyte donation, including statutory and case law concerning donor-related surrogacy and parentage, genetic testing of donors, loss of gametes and embryos, and donor compensation.

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Volume 110, Issue 7, Pages 1209–1215


Jody Lyneé Madeira, J.D., Ph.D., Susan L. Crockin, J.D.


Oocyte donation has played an increasingly important role in assisted reproductive technologies since the early 1980s. Over the past 30 years, unique legal standards have evolved to address issues in the oocyte donation procedure itself as well as the disputes over issues, such as parentage, that inevitably arise with new technologies, particularly for individuals seeking to build nontraditional families. This essay will explore oocyte donation's legal aspects as well as seminal law concerning the procedure, including statutory law (uniform and model provisions and enacted state laws) and selected judicial opinions concerning surrogacy and parentage, testing of oocyte donors, mix-ups of donated oocytes, and donor compensation.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.