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Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should I donate my body and who benefits from whole body donations to FACTS?

The gift of your body will benefit forensic scientists, law enforcement agents, medicolegal death investigators, and forensic science educators. In addition your gifted body will help advance scientific knowledge in human decomposition, human skeletal variation, and osteolgocial methods used by forensic anthropologists. If you are considering an alternative to traditional funeral cremation or burial, we ask that you consider making a full body donation to FACTS. Your gift will provide numerous opportunities for training, education, and scientific research now and in the future. The gift of your body is a compassionate act that will leave a legacy of education and research for future generations.

How do I register as a donor?

To pre-register download the body donation packet, discuss your wishes to be donated to FACTS with your family, complete the packet as thoroughly as possible (do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions), and return it by

email to

Sophia Mavroudas at

or U.S. mail to:

Sophia Mavroudas
Coordinator, Forensic Anthropology Center
Texas State University
Department of Anthropology
601 University Drive ELA 232
San Marcos, TX 78666 

Who is eligible to donate their body?

FACTS accepts donations regardless of age, location, stage of decomposition, trauma, surgical history, and most causes of death. Unlike most anatomical donations, FACTS will accept autopsied bodies for donation.

FACTS does not accept donations from individuals over 500 pounds or with active infectious diseases (those that can be transmitted from person-to-person) such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, active tuberculosis, or active syphilis. FACTS will, however, accept the unpulverized cremains of individuals over 500 pounds or with an active infectious disease.

Is pre-registration with FACTS Body Donation Program necessary?

No, but we strongly encourage you to pre-register. However, consent to donate can be given by your legal next of kin. If there is more than one legal next of kin, all parties must be in agreement to donate before FACTS can accept your body.

Can I pre-register with FACTS Body Donation Program?

Yes, we strongly encourage individuals interested in donating their body to science to pre-register with FACTS. We also advise that you discuss your wishes with your family so they are aware that you would like your body donated to FACTS. Download the living donor or next of kin (NOK) packets. 

What will happen at the time of my passing?

Upon death all that is necessary is for someone to notify FACTS (; 512-245-1900). A trained representative of FACTS will assist the next of kin through the donation process including coordinating transportation and signing any necessary authorization forms, and verifying information for the death certificate.

What do I do if I need to contact FACTS after hours about a donation?

When contacting FACTS about a donation after hours, please call 512-245-1900 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and relationship to the decedent. We will contact you as soon as possible.

If the decedent is a living (pre-registered) donor who has passed away, please leave a message with the name of the decedent and someone will contact you shortly.

If the decedent was not pre-registered with FACTS, please complete the NOK paperwork found above then email ( a scanned copy or fax (512-245-6889) the form to the office for review. All NOK donation inquiries will be responded to between the hours of 9-5 PM, Monday through Friday.

FACTS can pick up remains within 200 miles of San Marcos. All transportation costs and arrangements outside of 200 miles are the responsibility of the donor or his/her Next of Kin. All donations should be kept in refrigeration until transportation arrangements are made. The costs associated with refrigeration are the responsibility of the NOK.

Who is the legal next of kin?

The closest relatives of a deceased individual, as defined by state law, are considered Next of Kin. Please contact us if you have questions about the legal next of kin. FACTS strongly suggests that you discuss your wishes to be donated with your legal next of kin before death.

What is the cost to my family?

We will arrange for transportation of the body within 200 miles of Texas State University. Beyond 200 miles, the family will have to make arrangements to have the decedent transported to FACTS or sent to Austin, TX by aircraft. In some cases your body may have to be temporarily stored in a refrigerator before being picked up by FACTS. The donor family is responsible for making these arrangements and any associated costs.

Can I change my mind after I pre-register

Yes. If you change your mind you may rescind your consent by notifying us. However, once a body has been donated and received by FACTS it will remain in the Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection for perpetuity.

Why should I request that friends and family make monetary donations in honor of the donor to FACTS

In addition to body donations, FACTS accepts monetary donations to support the education, research, and outreach mission goals. We are a non-profit center that provides free pickup of donated bodies within 200 miles, free lectures on forensic anthropology to the community, conduct scientific research and education, and provide low cost forensic anthropological services. However, these endeavors are often costly and must be paid for by FACTS. In addition, the FACTS body donation coordinator position is not funded by Texas State University. Monetary support to FACTS will help us accomplish our mission and enable us to continue to provide quality free and low cost outreach and services to the community. 

What if I am in another state when death occurs?

FACTS will make reasonable effort to accept a donation from anywhere in the United States. However, the family will need to have the body transported to Austin, TX by aircraft or make other arrangements.

Can I donate body parts?

Yes. We strongly encourage you to donate your whole body, but FACTS will accept donations of body parts that include skeletal elements and cremated remains in some circumstances.