I am an Attorney, Can I Represent Myself Instead of Hiring an Outside Attorney?

After selecting a surrogacy or egg donor agency, the knee jerk reaction might be “Sure why not” However, that isn’t correct. The answer should be – You always need a lawyer who specializes in third party reproduction to create a legal agreement between you and your egg donor or gestational surrogate.

It makes common sense – no two lawyers are created alike. Granted all lawyers go to law school to earn a Juris Doctorate. However, each lawyer chooses a specialty to practice. Some lawyers choose family law, while others choose things like patent law, business law, real estate law, international law, criminal lawyers, tax lawyers, insurance lawyers, divorce lawyer, etc..

You get the idea.

Catherine Tucker from The Law Office of Catherine Tucker shared with us:

“I get asked this question a lot, and I definitely do not recommend trying to handle the legal piece yourself. A properly constructed legal agreement is simply the best way to protect yourself and your family. Egg donation is an extremely complex and technical area of the law that draws upon concepts from many different legal areas, such as presumptions of maternity and paternity, property law, general contract principles, medical malpractice and liability, and choice of law principles. Unless you are well-versed in how all of these specific areas of the law interplay with regards to an egg donation arrangement, you cannot competently prepare a comprehensive egg donation agreement, nor can you competently review an agreement prepared by the other party. While I absolutely understand that egg donation is a very expensive undertaking, the legal fees are relatively reasonable in the grand scheme of all the expenses involved.”

Let’s translate this into finding a physician. You are seeking the assistance of a Reproductive Endocrinologist to help you have a child via egg donation. Would you see a brain surgeon, an internist, a psychiatrist, or a cardiologist to help you have a baby?
No, of course not. They are all doctors but they all have their own specialties just like lawyers.

You wouldn’t defend yourself in court regardless of whether you are a trial lawyer or not. Most lawyers will tell you that the conventional wisdom dictates that representing yourself in court which is known as pro se representation, is a bad idea. There’s a really old saying that a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. In fact, The Supreme Court quoted a law professor’s statement that “a pro se defense is usually a bad defense.

The same thing goes for physicians – they don’t treat themselves or their family members they go to other doctors for things like that.

This article composed by Marna Gatlin, Founder of Parents Via Egg Donation