If you have donated eggs or sperm, can a Donor child make a claim on your estate?

What are the inheritance rights of Donor Children?As the first generation of Donor-conceived children who will be allowed to legally trace their biological father or mother gets closer to coming of age, there is still much confusion as to what the removal of anonymity means. Has it changed other legal rights for Donors and their biological descendants?

Egg Donors

For egg donors, the situation is more simple – the woman who carried the child and gave birth to it is the legal mother, and the egg donor has no legal standing (and therefore cannot have any claims made against them either for child support, or claims against their estate after death).

Sperm Donors – Licensed or Unlicensed Donation?

For male donors, the crux of the matter is whether you donated through a Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) licensed clinic, or whether it was through a less formal arrangement.

If you donated through a licensed clinic, then you are not the legal parent. The child will have the right to your contact information after they have turned 18, but other than that they have no rights or claims on you (or your estate), and you have no rights or responsibilities towards them.

Informal Donation

If you have donated in any way other than through a licensed clinic then, under UK law, you may be considered the legal parent of any resulting child(ren). Unless you agree with the parents of the child to surrender your rights (and, for example, for the birth mother’s partner to adopt the child), then the child could have the same rights of inheritance as any of your other children.

It is important that you get appropriate legal advice before entering into any such informal arrangement. While we are not experts in this area of law as a whole, we can help you with any inheritance questions you have or arrangements you wish to make.

If you’d like to book a free consultation with one of our legal experts, book online or call 01342 477 102 and quote ‘Donor Children article‘.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.