Many couples who choose in vitro fertilization to help them have children often face a difficult dilemma after they have completed their family; they must decide what to do with their remaining embryos. Are you one of these couples?

Your choices may be limited…

Most fertility clinics and cryo-banks bill annually for embryo storage and those bills frequently arrive at the beginning of the New Year. What can be done with these embryos?

First, you can simply pay the bill and continue to store them for another year.

Second, you can choose to thaw them and discard them. Third, you can choose to donate them for scientific research.

Finally, you can donate your embryos to another family for reproduction. When you were undergoing IVF you had one goal in mind: to have a baby. The embryos resulting from your treatment were created so you could give life to a baby.

Perhaps you have had one or more children from this set of embryos. Before you made them, you may have had a different attitude towards them. Now, perhaps your attitude has changed. Donating for reproduction is the only option available to you that gives each of your embryos an opportunity to live the life you created them for.

Embryos may be donated for reproduction through your fertility clinic, if they have an embryo donation program. Or, you can empower yourself with the ability to choose the family who will receive your embryos by working through an embryo adoption program. When you place your embryos with an embryo adoption program, you have the added security of knowing the families you are selecting from have received education and vetting through the adoption home study process.

In addition, you can know the outcome of your embryo gift to the recipient family. Did they get pregnant? Did they have a baby? Do they have any embryos left to attempt another pregnancy in the future? Embryo adoption opens the door for you to have future contact with this family.

A list of embryo adoption agencies can be found at and for more informational articles, be sure to look out for a copy of the latest Pathway2Family issue releasing in July!