The face of the American family is rapidly changing and Illinois law is rapidly changing with it.

Berger Schatz Family Building focuses on providing comprehensive and affordable legal services related to your family building journey. At both our Chicago and Lake Forest offices, we provide a wide range of fertility law services, many of which are described in more detail below. Contact us to obtain more information about how we can assist you in growing your family by assisted reproduction.

Egg Donation

Egg donation is the process by which a woman provides one or more eggs for the purpose of assisted reproduction through in vitro fertilization (“IVF”). IVF involves the fertilization of a woman's eggs in a laboratory and subsequent implantation of the embryos into a woman's uterus. Egg donors may be identified or unknown. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have issued guidelines for egg donations.

In Illinois, separate attorneys represent the egg donor and the Intended Parent(s) in drafting the donor agreement. This is particularly important because there is currently no law in Illinois addressing egg donation. The donor agreement controls the rights and responsibilities of both the Intended Parent(s) and the egg donor.

Sperm Donation

Sperm donation is the process by which a man donates his sperm with the intention that it be used to impregnate a woman through in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination. A man may donate his sperm as an identified or anonymous donor through a sperm bank or fertility clinic. A sperm donor may also donate directly to the recipient.

Sperm donation is used to assist heterosexual couples who are unable to produce children because of "male factor" fertility problems. Additionally, sperm donation is available to enable single women and partnered lesbians to conceive children. The FDA has regulations governing the use of donor sperm in medical and fertility clinics. Generally, separate attorneys represent Intended Parent(s) and sperm donors in donor agreements. The donor agreement will address the rights and responsibilities of both the Intended Parent(s) and the sperm donor. In some circumstances, heterosexual or same sex couples who are not married should consider adoption to secure legal rights to the child.


Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child for another individual or couple. A surrogate may be the child's genetic mother (traditional surrogate) or she may gestate the child (gestational carrier) from either the intended mother's eggs and the intended father's sperm, donated embryos, or a combination of the intended parent's egg or sperm and a donor's egg or sperm.

If all provisions of the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act are followed, a parent-child relationship between the child and the intended parents may be legally established before the birth of the child.