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Addressing the Common Child Custody Issues with Sperm Donors in New York

Children In Camera When a marriage or relationship comes to an end, one of the most complex things that parents will have to deal with is the issue of child custody and visitation rights. As a child custody attorney in New York and Long Island, Mr. Darren Shapiro knows first-hand just how complicated child custody concerns can be. Importantly, matters regarding child custody aren't just limited to situations where the biological parents are in a relationship. In fact, in some cases, custody problems can arise between parents that don't even know each other, thanks to the medical developments that have prompted the rise of sperm donors throughout the US.

Over the last few decades, healthcare advancements involving insemination have helped couples throughout the country enjoy the wonders of having their own child, even after doctors may have told them that natural conception would be impossible. From patients with biological issues to same-sex couples that rely on sperm donors to start their family, there are plenty of ways that the medical world has stepped in to help couples become parents. Of course, while these developments can be a wonderful thing, they also lead to a range of potential issues regarding child custody, and who should have the right to make decisions on the behalf of a child.

Resolving Child Custody Conflicts With Sperm Donors

A Divorce lawyer Darren Shapiro has worked alongside various couples and individuals over the years, helping them to come to terms with the complexities of child custody and visitation agreements through mediation, collaborative law, and litigation. His experience as a child custody attorney has also meant that Mr. Shapiro has been able to consider cases involving sperm donors. With these complex cases, the New York courts have been forced to implement unique methods of dispute resolution. For instance, in most cases, when a couple or individual goes through a doctor to receive artificial insemination, they're unlikely to face problems in which the sperm donor attempts to seek custody of the child.

When a donation occurs through the healthcare system, the contract between the business accepting and storing the sperm, and the donor eliminates any parental rights that the donor might have over the children that are born from his sperm. This means that parents seeking a stress-free way to start a family should always stick to medically-approved procedures. Problems often occur when some couple turn to a donor that they know for help, rather than relying on an anonymous source. While it can be tempting to ask a friend for help, these situations lead to complex legal scenarios because the New York Court will not generally enforce contracts between recipients and sperm donors.

As Mr. Shapiro reminds his clients, the rules around non-contracted sperm donors and parental rights are simpler to the guidelines held around surrogate parenting. Surrogacy contracts are regarded as being "against" public policy in the eyes of the New York court, which means that they're unenforceable, even with the help of a child custody attorney.

Protecting Yourself Against Possible Issues With Sperm Donors

When it comes to protecting yourself from the child custody issues that can occur when a donor you know requests parental rights over the baby they helped to bring into this world, the best thing you can do is make sure that you pursue the right avenues for artificial insemination. When a couple or women use a sperm bank, or a licensed medical team to access sperm donors, they will be able to avoid many of the problems linked to parental rights and sperm donors. This is because the donor's rights will be terminated by the contract that he signed when he agreed to offer a donation to the organization in question. However, parents adamant on using a known donor can access some protection by using a Sperm Donor Agreement to help clarify the intentions of each party involved.

Although a contract can be helpful when it comes to arguing your point in a case regarding parental rights with a child custody lawyer like Mr. Darren Shapiro, it's important to remember that these documents aren't enforceable by the New York Courts. While they might not help you in establishing your parental rights, or removing the parental rights of a sperm donor, these contracts can still be beneficial in their own way. The agreement will help to establish the intent of each party at the start of the donor process and can help to resolve any other issues that might be linked to the donation of sperm. Without an enforceable contract to work around, the New York Courts will always be held to the "best interests" standard when making a decision about child custody.

Preparing for A Successful Donor Experience

Ultimately, most divorce attorneys will advise their clients to use safe medical routes when planning to work with a sperm donor. If you're currently planning on applying for artificial insemination, or you've already begun to search for a sperm donor, it's worth speaking to a New York divorce attorney and child custody lawyer like Mr. Darren Shapiro for advice on how to protect yourself from future issues. Mr. Shapiro's experience with the courts of New York and his in-depth understanding of child custody topics makes him a useful resource for people in New York and Long Island looking to start their family or protect themselves and their children.

To discuss your specific circumstances in depth, feel free to reach out to Mr. Shapiro today for a free thirty-minute consultation. Attorney Shapiro is available on (516) 333-6555.

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