Embryo Adoption Questions Answered- Fertility Clinics and Embryo Donation and Adoption

Q: What if our fertility clinic (or we) wants to move our embryos to long-term storage at a cryo-bank?

Some clinics have time limits regarding storage of your embryos at their facility. After that time limit has expired they may require you to move your embryos to an off-site facility (a cryo-bank) or give you the option to have your embryos discarded.

If you, or your clinic, are considering moving your frozen embryos to a cryo-bank it is critical for you to understand the rules governing the storage of your embryos and your ability to have your embryos returned to your control and possession.

Q: Are there limits regarding the length of time donated embryos can be frozen?

Healthy children have been born from embryos that had been frozen for more than 19 years. Most experienced embryo adoption agencies will not stipulate a maximum cryo-preservation time limit.
They generally will accept all embryo donations regardless of the genetic mother's age, length of storage, medical grading or stage of embryo development. All of these items will be disclosed to the potential adopting family as a part of the matching process.

Q: What possible benefit could there be for a clinic to become involved with an embryo adoption?

Since many infertile couples desire to experience pregnancy, but do not want to create new embryos through IVF, embryo donation and adoption is another fertility treatment that clinics can offer their patients. Some clinics may choose to partner with adoption agencies to create a working embryo adoption program providing medical, legal and social protections.

When a clinic chooses to partner with an adoption agency the benefits positively impact both the clinic's patients and the clinic business. This partnership can move future liability regarding embryo placement issues from the clinic to the agency. The agency maintains the social, emotional and legal education and documentation of embryo adoption.

Q:  What type of patient medical information will a clinic receive about donating parents and their embryos?

The clinic will receive Infectious disease screening results (an FDA requirement), embryology reports, as well as embryo freezing and thawing protocols. It is likely that the embryo donation/adoption program a clinic’s patients are working with will be able to contact the donating parents and their clinic to obtain additional information as necessary.

Q: What are the current FDA requirements for blood tests?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published regulations regarding human tissue donation that effects embryo donation and adoption. On May 25, 2004, the FDA published final rules addressing donor testing/ screening and good tissue practice. The FDA subsequently issued an interim final rule on May 25, 2005, which amended certain sections of those regulations. For additional information on the rule, see the FDA's website Question and Answer section at:

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