The Importance of Openness in Embryo Adoption

Sometimes when couples begin the process of adopting an embryo, they are surprised to find that many embryo adoption agencies advocate for an open adoption process. This should actually come as no surprise, as open adoption is becoming the norm in the United States. In fact, in traditional adoptions only about 5% of the families don’t keep in contact in some way. Numerous studies have found that all participants in the adoption, including donors, adoptees, and the child themselves, have a more positive experience with an adoption when it is open. Take a look at the benefits each party may experience thanks to an open adoption:

For the donating family: Embryo donors are more comfortable with the donation when they are confident that the family raising the resulting children is a loving, caring, and stable environment. They can help make an active choice for their embryo’s future, and don’t have to live with the uncertainty of what to do with remaining embryos after IVF treatments.

For the adopting family: Adoptive families experience less anxiety about the donating family interfering in the future with an open adoption, as both parties can see that the child is happy and healthy with the adoptive family. Plus, adoptive families will have access to medical and genealogical information that could be important in the future.

For the child: Children are the biggest beneficiaries of an open adoption. They are able to access information on their backgrounds, medical histories, and have a relationship with biological siblings. For an adopted child, there won’t be a lifetime of unanswered questions or made up stories about their origins. They will know who their biological parents are, and that their adoptive parents chose them to be a part of their family.

The degree of openness depends on the preferences of both families, and you can establish boundaries at the very beginning of the process. Your agency can help match you to a family who wants similar boundaries in order to make it an easier process for you both. For more information on embryo adoption, visit

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