Difference Between Co-Parenting Agreement and Sperm Donor Agreement
Making the decision to have a child as a single person is a big one, so deciding how you want to go about this is extremely important. Whatever you choose, you need to ensure that you have a legally binding agreement in place before the child is born. This may sound complicated, so let me break it down for you.
Whether you need a co-parenting agreement or a sperm donor agreement depends largely on whether or not the prospective father wants to actually be a father to your child, or whether they are simply a friend doing you a favour.
If you are using a known sperm donor who does not wish to have any rights of responsibilities for the child you will need a sperm donor agreement explicating extinguishing any claim by the sperm donor to your child, and extinguishing any claim made by you or your child to the donor. This will not only ensure that the donor has no legal rights to the child but they also cannot be expected to support you and your child financially. This doesn’t mean that the donor couldn’t play any role in the child’s life at some point, but he would not be the legal father.
However, on the opposite end of the spectrum you may choose a sperm donor who you are not romantically involved with, but wishes to be a parent in order to be able to share responsibility and have your child grow up with two parents. Therefore you would need a co-parenting agreement, formally agreeing your intentions and desires for parenthood in a written document. This document is not guaranteed to be recognised by a court, however it is important for prospective parents to discuss these issues before the child is born, and having a written document will surely help to avoid misunderstandings later.
There is of course, one other option, and if you don’t want the sperm donor to have anything to do with the child besides genetics, you should perhaps consider anonymous sperm donation before anything else.
When you’re drawing up your co-parenting agreement you might be wondering what exactly the most important clause is that you need to remember to include.
There are many details in your co-parenting agreement that shouldn’t be forgotten, and together with your co-parenting team you will need to hash out the details of your intentions with regards to you, your co-parent(s) and your child.
Some important details that must not be forgotten are:
Each of the co-parents’ right to the child. If your sperm donor is just a donor, this should be set out in the agreement. If you are to have equal rights to the child’s upbringing, this should also be clear. If one of the parents is going to be the primary parent in the child’s life, you need to hash out the details of how this will work.
Each of the co-parents’ obligations to the child. Similarly to above, the amount of involvement in the child’s upbringing will directly relate to the amount of responsibility each of the co-parents has.
Legal parents. You will need to set out exactly who will be the legal parents of the child, and this may vary depending on where you live. You may have four parties involved, but local co-parenting laws stipulate that only two parties can legally be parents.
Mutual goals for your children. Before insemination you might not even have thought about schools and universities, but this should be discussed and stipulated on paper before you begin, as you might find that all parties have differing views.
Amongst these important co-parenting clauses, you should also discuss your parental relationship, sharing time and residence, naming of the child and its birth certificate.
But from all of these clauses, the most important is most likely how you will adapt to change. Throughout your co-parenting journey you will encounter changes in how you feel, what the child needs and anything else, and so your co-parenting agreement should set out how you will jointly mediate and modify the co-parenting contract, and your parenting as the child grows.
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