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Receiving Embryos

There are many reasons couples are attracted to building their family through embyro adoption.  The most common reasons cited include:

  • A desire to experience pregnany and the miracle of birth
  • The ability to bond with the baby during pregnancy.
  • The ability to physically protect the baby during pregnancy and control the pre-natal environment.
  • As birthing parents, legally being recognized during pregnancy as the parents of the child
  • At birth, the mother and the man she is married to at birth, will immediately be listed on the birth certificate as the baby's parents.  
  • The ability to be matched with a genetic embryo donor family that shares a likemindeness with the adopting couple related to preferred matching characteristics and communication preferences.
  • The ability to move forward on the family building path more quickly and inexpensively than many alternative paths, including domestic & international adoption and egg donation.

 Are there eligiblity requirements related to embryo donation?

  • The woman must be medically approved for embryo donation and pregnancy by a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). 
  • Completion of an approved home study and embyro donation assessment
  • At least one partner must be a citizen of the United States.

If we’ve experienced failed medical treatment or miscarriage during our infertility journey, is embryo donation still even a realistic possibility?

Yes. Many couples that have been unsuccessful in achieving a genetic pregnancy or birth of their own, successfully build their family through embryo donation. Nationally, 35% of embryo transfers result in birth. In comparison, couples that attempt to become pregnant in a non-medically assisted cycle have an approximate success rate of 20 to 25%.

Where will the embryo transfer take place?

The National Fertility Support Center will assist you in exploring options that include:

  • The embryos may be shipped from the donors clinic to the recipient's clinic for transfer if the recipient's clinic is willing to accept embryos that were created in another clinic.
  • The recipient's may receive their embyro transfer at the clinic where the embryos were created.  This allows the embryologist most familiar with the embyros and their care to conduct the embyro transfer.  If this option is selected, pre and post transfer medical care may be coordinated through and provided by your local RE clinic.

The National Fertility Support Center will discuss these options and provide support as you make a final decision.  Referrals may also be provided by way of acessing a list of clinics that are open to provding embryo transfer care.

How are embyro recipients and donors matched with one another?

Both couples complete a thorough counseling and preparation process before matching takes place.  During the process, both are invited to carefully consider what is most important to them in terms of a match.  The donors may elect to review profiles of several recipients prior to selecting a recipient for their embyros.  Likewise, the recipients must review and approve the donors after thorough review of their profile.

 How much information will we recieve about the embryo donors?

The donors complete a medical health history form regarding their immediate and extended family health histories.  In addition, descriptive information is provided related to physical characteritics, personality, hobbies & interests, career & educational background etc.  Pedicatric health history is also provided by the donors related to each born child that may share a genetic relationship with the embyros that are being donated.

Many donors also are open to sharing pictures of their children and family.  They may also choose to prepare a personally written letter stating about their donation decision.

In addition, the donors will complete communicable disease testing and generally undergo a general physical exam as required by the medical clinic conducting the embryo transfer.

How much information will the donors receive about the recipients?

A profile is prepared that contains information about the recipients infertility journey, their family background and health history.  Information about education, career, hobbies/interests, family constellation may also be shared.  Often the recipient will provide a letter about why they are interested in building their family through embyro donation.  The recipient may share photos as well.

Will the genetic parents be aware of our identity, or of the child if we are successful?

That depends. We offer both anonymous and "open" adoptions. Our counselors will help you select the options that are best for you.

Is this really adoption?

Based on current law, adoption only refers to the placement of a child after birth. Therefore, instead of using adoption laws, legal agreements are used to govern the process of embryo adoption. But be assured that your relationship with the child is just as binding as an adoption. In addition, with embryo adoption, you will be the parents cited on the birth certificate. 

Can genetic parents change their minds and ask for custody of the child?

Under current law, once the embryos have been transferred, the genetic parents have no legal claim to any resultant children. The contract agreement and relinquishment forms are legally binding between the two families.

What are the chances for a successful pregnancy?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), for embryo adoption the national average pregnancy rate is 43 percent and the national average live-birth rate is 35 percent. These statistics are from a database of all U.S. assisted reproductive technology clinics. Many embryo donation agencies, including the NFSC, have experienced live birth rates of over 40%. Not all embryos survive the freeze/thaw process, and thawing of your selected embryos may not lead to a transfer. However, this may still offer the greatest hope of achieving pregnancy. 

How many embryos will be transferred in an embryo transfer cycle?

Usually, one to two embryos are transferred. This process is dictated by the parents and the guidance received from their doctor and embryologist.

Is there a chance for multiple births?

Multiple births are much less common with frozen embryo transfers than with non-frozen ("fresh") embryo transfers. In order to minimize the risk of multiples, transfer of one or two embryos is often considered optimal.  Your options to control this will be discussed during the counseling you receive from your doctor.

How many embryos will we receive through donation?

Typically, you will receive all of the cryopreserved embryos that a donor couple is donating. 

What are the costs?

Services and costs can be reviewed by clicking here .

What is the first step?

The process can be reviewed by clicking here . The seasoned staff of the National Fertility Support Center are eager to work with you to achieve your dream of a family.

For additional information, please contact us by email or phone (616) 455 - 1499 for further information on embryo donation and adoption.