August 27, 2010

Question of the day #2 – embryo donation/embryo adoption?

Posted in Infertility tagged , at 7:01 pm by lifebytheday

As you may have noticed, my method of regaining hope this cycle is by conducting a lot of research.  I’ve rejoined the online bulletin boards that helped me so much during the beginning of our IF journey…although now I’m part of the group called “IVF veterans.”  😦  I’m also relying on some of my lurkers (yes, I’m talking to you!) and other fellow bloggers to contribute some new ideas and insight. 😉

In the course of some research focused on adoption (which deserves its own post – or ten), I came across some comments about embryo adoption.  Long story short, this consists of “adopting” the frozen embryos from a couple who has decided that their family is complete.  For some reason, I completely forgot about this as an option, but now I can’t  stop thinking about it and feeling like it might be the perfect solution.

– I would not have to go through the physically challenging part of another IVF cycle.
– The embryo would not have biological material from either of us (which is important to us – we’re an all or nothing kind of couple 😉 )
– I would still get to experience pregnancy, labor, and delivery (and yes I know that I might regret that later ;-), but shouldn’t I have the chance to admit that I was wrong?)
– I would still have the opportunity to breastfeed (obviously, this doesn’t work for every mommy/baby, but again, I’d like the chance to try)
– There would be less “explaining” to do with strangers/acquaintances

– Embryo adoption does not guarantee a pregnancy and healthy baby.  There could be a reason why I’ve never been able to get pregnant and it might not only be because of the meds and resultant egg quality.
– Costs are unknown.  We don’t know how much, if any, of an “adoptive” cycle our insurance would cover.
– Various other adoption-specific concerns…

Anyways, we definitely have a lot of research and soul-searching to do (I completely sprang this on S when he came home today and it was NOT the right timing 😉 )…but I wanted to ask anyone who has experienced embryo donation or embryo adoption to please share your experiences (good and bad).



  1. Try to “google” embryo donation and do some research. I personally prefer the term embryo donation over adoption ( but others may feel different.

    There are certain advantages to embryo donation. It doesn’t fit for all but but many, it is a wonderful option.

    Good luck in your research.

    Craig R. Sweet, M.D.

    • lifebytheday said,

      I understand the debate, which is why I wrote my post including both phrases, but thanks for the comment.

  2. jolene1079 said,

    Oh what a great idea, I love it – and of course, whatever you decide, I’m behind you 100%!!

  3. As mothers of 3 adopted embryo miracles and 11 adopted after birth miracles, we would like to invite you to check out our blog @

    Previous posts include info about costs, etc. We are here to support you, if you choose this path.

    City Jen is seriously considering beginning her 2nd Embryo Adoption.

    Embryo Adoption is such a wonderful choice!!!

    We hope to hear from you soon!!!


  4. D said,

    Quite the contrary girlie, I don’t think you will regret anything later. I think you would appreciate everything 100 times more than any other mommy out there. 🙂

  5. Susan Forrester said,

    I think you’ll find, like we did, that the terms embryo donation and embryo adoption are interchangeable. The medical community likes to call it donation because they’re focused on the medical aspects of the process. People who actually receive donated embryos know that the hoped for end result is a child, and adoption is appropriate. There are some good donor & adopter stories on

  6. jsutera654 said,

    I think this is great, friend and support you in whatever you decide, as you know full well by now. Can I say that when I read this post originally (from my bberry now less), I had a dream that night that I donated five embryos to you?? I guess you’re on my mind more than I thought! xo

  7. iamstacey said,

    I forgot about this option, too! I think it’s wonderful! What a way to connect you to your baby. I know there’s a greater risk that it won’t end in pregnancy, but I have to admit, I would be open to trying it first before going with straight adoption.

  8. Hillary said,

    Yes, this is something I have looked into a little as well, and I agree with your pro/con list!

    One thing I discovered in my research is that the costs can vary a lot. if you go through an adoption agency, you will pay more fees, do a homestudy, etc. I’m sure you will also get a lot of support through the process. A less expensive option is to go directly through a clinic (although it seems some clinics have a long wait) or receive embryos directly from another couple (through something like the Miracles Waiting site?). Maybe you already knew all of this, but I was surprised to discover all the different options!

    Keep us posted on your research, thoughts, and decisions. Of course, I am praying you get your miracle THIS cycle and this is all just interesting research… 🙂

  9. egghunt said,

    It’s an interesting subject and definitely one I would consider if it were more readily available in my country. If you think about it there must be a lot of couples who have finished their families but still have frozen embryos so it seems like a win win for both parties.
    PS – Congrats on starting your Ivf cycle!!! I’m routing for you that this cycle is the magic one so you don’t need to consider other options further down the track.

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