Where Should I Donate My Embryos?

When families decide they would like to donate their embryos to another family, they are sometimes overwhelmed by all the different donation options that are available to them. In a nutshell, here are three potential programs and options you can pursue when it comes to finding a family for your remaining embryos.

Adoption Agency

The recipient family will have undergone and passed a home study. This includes educational programs, medical screening, and background checks. They will provide you with information regarding their current family structure, economic status, and hopes and dreams for children. The agency will work to match you with a family who best meets the criteria you have specified.

The agency will have the necessary legal documents for the transfer the embryos from you to the adopting family. The families agree upon a mutual level of future communication. The communication may be facilitated by the agency if desired. The agency will then coordinate with the fertility clinics involved regarding medical testing required by the FDA and shipment of the embryos.

The adoption process can take time and embryo storage fees can be a financial burden. Some embryo adoption programs have established embryo storage programs to help ease the burden.

Clinic Donation Program

With a clinic donation program, generally you receive little to no information regarding the recipient family. Your embryos are donated directly to the clinic and the clinic determines who receives them. The embryos will most likely be split up between families and there will likely be no communication between you and the recipient family (or families).

You will want to be sure to have the appropriate legal documents completed prior to anyone receiving your embryos. In these contracts, you terminate your ownership of the embryos and your future parental rights.


You may meet someone through an online matching database (or even personally) who would benefit from your embryos. You may arrange for a self-directed match with them. The onus is then upon you and the recipient family for the legal, medical, regulatory, and logistical necessities of the donation. There are some agency programs which will help you navigate these important processes for a fee after you self-match.

To learn more about your donation or adoption options, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.