Congratulations to Paul and Jessica on starting their family through the miracle of embryo donation and adoption. It is a wonderful feeling to see a family who struggled for so long to build their family finally achieve pregnancy and live out their dreams.
The Awareness Center did want to clarify a few things mentioned in the news story above. Specifically, near the end of the video, the reporter talks about the legality of embryo donation and adoption in the U.S. and says each State has their own unique rules.
In actuality, no State has a law banning embryo donation or adoption. In the United States embryos are considered property, not people and therefore the ‘owners’ [the donor family] of the embryos transfer the ownership to the recipient family via contract law. Embryo Donation and Adoption programs use relinquishment forms, which are legal contracts between the donor and recipient couples. These forms formalize the genetic parental relinquishment of their parental rights prior to the embryo being transferred to the receiving mother. Once transferred, the embryos belong to the adopting parents.
Only two states have specific laws addressing the process of embryo donation and adoption. Georgia pass legislation in 2009 granting embryo adopting parents the right to finalize their adoption in court. In Louisiana, embryos are considered ‘juridical persons’ which means: An Entity (such as a firm) other than a natural person (human being) created by law and recognized as a legal entity having distinct identity, legal personality, and duties and rights. Also called artificial person, juridical entity, juristic person, or legal person.
To learn more about the legal requirements of embryo donation and adoption, please visit the FAQ page of EmbryoAdoption.org.