Many individuals who have a child through the use of donors often opt out of a donor agreement, citing reasons like "an agreement is not mandatory" or "not binding anyway". While technically true, the situation is more complex..

What is Donor gamete conception?

Conception through gamete donation is a type of Assisted Human Reproduction and includes procedures that help couples or individuals conceive children using donated sperm and/or eggs. As a result, sometimes at least one one of the child's intended parents may not share a genetic connection with them.

Who are the legal parents?

A woman who becomes pregnant through artificial insemination is considered a parent together with her consenting partner at the time of conception, regardless of who is genetically related to the child. The law essentially provides for parenthood to be based on the commitment of the intended parents rather than based on who is biologically related to the child.

Despite the clarity of the law on the non-parental status of the donor, fears arise due to the complexity of the situation. Relationships between sperm donors cover a broad spectrum, ranging from anonymous donors to co-parenting arrangements.

How does an agreement help?

Parents and donors can make their own agreements about donor-child contact and the donor's role in parenting. However, an agreement itself is not enforceable.

But with the consent of all parties, a party may apply to the Court for an order incorporating some or all of the provisions of the agreement. The Court will only make such an order if it considers that it is in the best interests of the child. If this is the case and an order is made, it will become enforceable.

Moreover, a written agreement clarifying the relationship and expectations of the parties can be evidence of whether it is a donor agreement or a co-parenting agreement.


If you are thinking about using a donor, legal advice and a written agreement can provide clarity and security for all parties involved, and  protect the interests of the child.

For further information about Assisted Human Reproduction please see our article here.

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