In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process through which an egg and a sperm are combined outside of the body and transferred to the uterus after fertilization occurs. The process can use a donor egg and sperm, biological material from the mother and her partner, or a combination thereof. This amazing medical technology brings lots of questions into the legal sphere, especially when it comes to paternity. In today’s blog post, we are answering some of the most common questions men ask about IVF and their paternity obligations.
My wife is having a baby through IVF. Do I need to take action to establish legal paternity?
No, you do not. Florida law assumes that any child conceived through artificial insemination or IVF and born to a married couple is their child, as long as they have both consented in writing to the artificial insemination or IVF.
What if I want to donate sperm to a couple who wants a baby, but I do not want to take on any paternity obligations? Is that possible?
Yes. If you donated biological material to a commissioning couple or with a pre-planned adoption agreement in place, it is possible to do so. You should make sure you work with an attorney to ensure that the agreement is clear and establishes what you want it to establish.
So does that also mean if I conceive a child through sexual intercourse and make an agreement with the mother, it is possible to act simply as a sperm donor?
No. As long as a child was conceived through intercourse, the father can always be held responsible for child support or be entitled to custody rights, no matter what kind of agreement, written or not, exists between them.
Who can help me navigate the legal side of these matters?
If you are involved in growing a family through IVF, artificial insemination, or other types of assisted reproduction and need help handling the legalities, McKINNON LEGAL is here to help. We have extensive experience handling all areas of family law, including cases where mothers seek child custody from fathers, where fathers seek legal custody of their children, and so much more. We are always available to answer any questions you have on the issue.