The Draft Version of Your Embryo Donation Agreement
First and foremost, congratulations on having found a match and getting the legal steps for your embryo donation started. We’ll be here to help you every step of the way and hope you find the following information helpful.
Review The Document
Take a thorough look through your agreement to make sure there are no typos or errors. We do our best to review every document before it gets sent, but as humans sometimes we miss things. If you find an error, please let us know by responding to the email we sent with your draft copy. If both the donor and recipient parties are included in the email, please use “Reply All” when you send an email, so that everyone stays in the loop.
We have found that it’s best practice to include the embryo identification numbers in the legal agreement. Not all clinics require this, so it’s completely up to each match on whether they want it included or not, if the clinic has no requirement. However, we find that it adds a “checks and balance” factor when making sure the correct embryos are being sent and given to another party. Every clinic is different in how they identify embryos. You may also submit the cryopreservation report to be included as an Exhibit to the Agreement, if you’d like something more official. Again, unless this is dictated by the clinic, it’s not a requirement.
Please take your time when reviewing your document. There is absolutely no rush as far as NRFA is concerned. We want you to have a legal agreement that you are happy and comfortable with.
You have the opportunity to review your agreement with outside, independent legal counsel, if you would like. This is not something that NRFA requires but some clinics do. Please be sure to know if your clinic has any specific requirements. The attorney you review it with does not need to make your changes (edits).
Submitting Changes-Or Not?
Once all signers have reviewed the agreement and have compiled their editing requests, please discuss them with the others to be certain that all signers are on the same page. If either the donor or recipient parties have met with an attorney, please be sure that everyone is aware of what changes they have recommended.
When all signers agree they are in agreement of the edits needed, please have the recipient party submit them on behalf of all parties, via this link: Embryo Donation Contract Changes. You will also use this to acknowledge that no changes are needed, if all signers agree the document is correct as-is.
We ask that the recipient party is the one to submit this information so we always know who to check with, should there be questions from our attorney about something. In some cases, each party has tried submitting their own edits without discussing them with the other first and that tends to get a bit messy, so please be sure to follow the above instructions. We would hate for a match to fall through because of miscommunication or something that could have been prevented.
Again, if you have any typographical errors (incorrect date of birth, name spelling, etc…) please send those directly via email, do not use the Contract Changes form to submit those. Those will be fixed as we are made aware of them and not done as part of the edits that are turned in.
Changes are Sent. Now what?
Once we receive your change request, we send it to our attorney (Amber) for her to edit. If there are no changes needed, the NRFA legal team will update the “effective on” date and remove the “DRAFT” notations on the document. This is done under the direction of our attorney. We strive to have every agreement that does NOT need changes returned to you within 48 hours. Agreements that require edits can take up to 4 days. Please note that if your submission comes through on a weekend, holiday, or after regular business hours, that will not be counted towards the turnaround time. The time will begin on the next regular business day. Also, please know that our attorney does this for us as a “side” job, to keep the costs to you as minimal as possible. She understands the struggle of infertility and the importance of having price effective options. She has regular clients, trials, mediations, etc… that she must tend to and sometimes that causes a bit of a delay. That said, we all do our best to have these things returned to you within the time frames listed above. We have worked with her for several years now and couldn’t speak more highly of her and all she has done for NRFA clients!
Once the final copy is returned, you’ll receive an email and link very similar to this one, with additional information on how to complete the process. Each signer will need to sign with a notary and then a completed copy will need to be returned to NRFA once each party has signed. If the donor and recipient parties choose to sign via counterparts (each party or person signs their own copy and submits it, rather than all signing the same document) you will receive a combined version of all the pages, once all signatures have been submitted. If you would like to preview that information now, you may do so by going here:
A Letter of Legal Clearance
Some clinics require a Letter of Legal Clearance once your contract has been signed. You can find more information about that process and purchase that document here: Letter of Legal Clearance Purchase. Not all clinics require this (which is why it’s not automatically included), so please double check before purchasing as this document is nonrefundable. The Letter of Legal Clearance cannot be sent until the signed donation agreement comes back from all signers.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
If you have a subscription (profile) on NRFA and are no longer going to use your account, please cancel your subscription. This will prevent further subscription charges to recipients and also remove donors from the searchable database so that users do not continue to ask if you are looking for a match. Of course, if you are using the messaging platform to communicate with your match regarding the donation contract, you are welcome to wait until everything is done and just mark it as Matched or Match Pending in the meantime. If you are a recipient with a paid subscription, you will retain account access until the subscription period ends, no matter when you cancel.
At any point, should your match fall through and the legal process halts, please let us know. We cannot offer refunds of legal contracts once the draft copy has gone out, due to the cost involved. We do ask that if the match falls through because a donor decides they are not ready to donate, that they reimburse the recipient for the cost of the legal document. If you find yourself in this situation, please let us know. We will gracefully help you to navigate that situation and help issue a credit to the recipient from the donor. We are grateful that these instances are not common, but we are here to help if it does and there will be no judgement made.
Those of us at NRFA know firsthand how daunting and emotional this process can be. We have been through it ourselves and know that it’s quite a process. We are here to help in any way we can, to make your match successful and the transition of embryos as seamless and smooth as possible. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or run into issues along the way!