Sunday, May 23, 2010

Embryo Adoption

At the Patiently Waiting Infertility support group on Tuesday, I met a girl named Katie.   She is pursuing embryo adoption.

Yeah, embryo adoption.

When I first heard about her from K (Patiently Waiting also has an adoption group) I thought wow, that's so cool.  Then when I met her on Tuesday, my heart jumped a little.

I'm not sure what this means yet, but the thought of embryo adoption is exciting.  If IVF does not work for us, and if we decided to pursue adoption, this is an option.  I heard about embryo adoption on Focus on the Family a few years ago.  At that time, we were just starting our fertility treatments, and it never even occurred to me that we would have considered IVF.  So I didn't even consider it.  But now, embryo adoption seems like a possible option. Though Babe and I have not talked about this, I did "casually" mention Katie to him.  Couldn't really tell how he felt about it though.

With embryo adoption, we would have to go through the regular adoption process.  Unlike regular adoption, I would actually be able experience pregnancy and childbirth, which would be a big plus!  There is also no risk of a failed adoption where a birthparent decides to parent or reclaim a child.  Plus, since we have gone through IVF, we can relate to the pain and heartache of infertility, and we know how much the biological parents wanted and desired to have children.

It is estimated that there are around 500,000 human embryos in cryopreservation in the US.  Because some parents that have gone through IVF have extra embryos, but have decided that their families are complete, they are faced with a dilemma: donate the embryos to research, thaw them and let them die, or donate them to couples that cannot conceive.  With embryo adoption, we would be adopting these donated embryos, a decision that is life honoring for both the biological parents and the adoptive parents.

Like I said earlier, I don't really know what this all means for us yet as we are planning on another round of IVF.  I haven't taken time to research any of this but I'll probably meet up with Katie sometime in the future just to chat.  Still, it's exciting just to think about it.

Have adopted an embryo?  Have/Would you ever considered it?


  1. Embryo adoption is something we're considering as well. It's considerably cheaper than domestic adoption: about $8K to adopt the embryos and about $3K per Frozen Embryo Transfer. And it may allow us to have future siblings. We're going to try one more IVF cycle and use our own frozen embryos first, though.

  2. We are considering this as well!!! P.S. Our clinic in the Czech has GREAT embryo adoption stats for CHEAP, CHEAP...they use donor egg and sperm to create the embryos. Something to keep in mind.

  3. I am in love with this idea. My 15 weeks of pregnancy were great and I really want to be pregnant again. This is my plan B option, at least for now :)

  4. Never even heard of it...definitely sounds interesting and something to look further into. Thanks for sharing!

  5. My DH and I are on the waiting list at our local RE to do EA. Check out my blog! We are raising money for the cost so that when we are matched we'll be ready!!

  6. Wow, that's so cool -- I never even realized it was an option! Thanks for opening my eyes!!

  7. May also want to consider embryo donation. This is anonymous although you know a tremendous amount about the donating parents. They can't, however, become involved in the raising of your child. It is also less expensive and less involved as "adoption" is a legal term requiring legal steps. Just Google Embryo Donation for some links. BTW, interesting post from Carrie above. Uncertain if the embryos are "pre-created". if they are created and then just waiting for "adoption", this could be a problem. Here in the US, we do not find it ethical to join eggs and sperm unless we have a waiting parent. I hope you don't mind a post from a physician....

  8. We've thought about this as well and got on the list at the same clinic you go to. However, they have suspended their program because so few people donate embryos. We were #11 on the list and they estimated our wait would be 10 YEARS!! Everyone on the wait list was transferred to another wait list in the area - wait time 2-3 years. I should check to make sure we're really on this new list. With our luck it's likely we've been forgotten!

  9. I'm so glad I'm not the only excited about this. Wow, I got a comment from a physician.... sweet! I wanted to thank Dr. Sweet for stopping by my lowly blog and leaving a comment. Very cool. I don't know how to get a hold of him, so I'll just thank him here.

  10. Hey Baby on Mind,
    If you click on Dr. Sweet's name next to his comment, it goes directly to his website.

    I am an adoptive parent. I don't think I would have adopted embryos. I would be too scared that something would go wrong in the pregnancy and I would lose all that we had worked for. I'm a chicken that way. ;)

    It is a great idea though. I am just way too chicken. Also, I don't have a uterus. Heh. ;)

  11. Absolutely would consider donor egg/ embryo adoption. Heather (In this Storm--on my bloglist) just did embryo adoption in April and is 6 weeks pregnant! Here's the post from the start:

    Her organization was Miracles Waiting.

    It really is nice to know there are options...that are successful!!!

  12. That's really awesome, I've never heard of that before.

  13. We very seriously considered embryo adoption. I think it is a wonderful way to give a chance to just a few of the thousands of embryos in storage. Good luck whatever you decide.

  14. Dr. Sweets website is They have a fantastic DONOR Embryo program. You can search the avaliable embryos online as well with no registration or cost.
    He is a fantastic RE
    Hope it is OK that I posted his site, I only did it because you said you did not know how to get in touch with him. I am sure his emial is on the site

  15. Hi,

    I am the very proud Mama of twins who were adopted as embryos!!! A fellow blogger who is about to give birth to her embryo adopted daughter and I started a blog for those interested in Embryo Adoption:

    Please let us know how we can help you in your journey!!!

    2 Jens

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