Last Time She Saw Them, They Were Just a Bundle of Eight Cells

The science behind embryo adoption is amazing, but it certainly is not new. We recently heard the story of one couple, Maran and John, who worked with HRC Fertility in Orange County, California. In 1996, the couple had been trying to have a child but were unable to conceive after nine years of marriage. They started infertility treatments with Dr. Jane Frederick at HRC, who over 20 years ago was using technology that is still used today for embryo adoptions. She took a bundle of just eight cells and transplanted 4 embryos into the Maran’s womb. This would be the couple’s last attempt at in vitro fertilization, as their insurance would not pay for any more.

Happily, Dr. Frederick was able to give the couple the good news that their final transfer had worked and they were expecting a baby. Today that baby is almost 20 years old, and recently she was able to meet Dr. Frederick who hadn’t seen her since she was that bundle of eight cells. Maran and John went on to have a second child, and Dr. Frederick is still helping couples realize their dreams of becoming parents. This is a lesson that it often isn’t the quality of the embryo that determines whether or not it will become a baby.

Unfortunately, not every case ends up as happy as Maran and John’s, and some couples end up leaving the fertility office broken hearted after their final treatment. They aren’t without options, though. Depending on the cause of their infertility, embryo adoption may be another path to parenthood. Using the same technology Dr. Frederick was helping pioneer almost 20 years ago, embryos from couples who have completed their families are available for adoption. The transfer procedure is safe, and the cost is often much less than other alternative family building methods.

Thanks to Dr. Frederick and HRC Fertility for sharing this story with us! We love to hear about couples who are able to become parents, no matter what method they choose. If you’d like to learn more about embryo adoption and whether it is the right method for your family building plans, visit

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