Open adoption is the new norm in the United States. Did you know over 95 percent of domestic adoptions involve some level of communication between the adoptive and biological families? It has been found to greatly benefit all parties involved.
Embryo adoption should be no different. Even though families who choose embryo adoption experience pregnancy and give birth to their adoptive children, the biological connections to their donor families are still present. (Even if the donor families used sperm and egg donors to create their embryos, most likely there were full-genetic siblings to the adopted child born from the embryos previously.)
Unfortunately, many embryo adoptions or donation programs do not advocate for open communication between the families. It is still largely believed that this is a secret matter, and the identity of the donor family should be protected at all costs.
But for what reasons? Is it because the donor family does not want the child to contact them years later? (Or worse yet, ask for money?!) Is it because the family still has not told their children and family about their IVF journey? Or just simply because of the fact they feel communication with the adoptive family would be too painful?
There are many benefits for donor families who opt for communication with their recipient family! If you are considering donating your remaining embryos and are worried about open adoption, we can tell you the benefits greatly outweigh any fears you may be experiencing (and even dissolve some altogether!).
Here are some open adoption benefits that directly impact donor families:
Open adoption allows donor families to choose their recipient families.
Due to the nature of anonymity with embryo donation in the past, donor families were never able to know, let alone choose the families who would receive their embryos. Because open adoption and communication break down the anonymity barriers, donor families can put forth criteria and choose their recipient family. This gives you peace of mind that your embryos went to a family who deserves them.
Open communication greatly reduces the uncertainty donor families may feel about the future.
The peace of mind that open communication brings does not end with choosing an adoptive family. Many donor families express how much happiness receiving email updates and photos from the adoptive family brings over the years. Donor families gain comfort in knowing the child is growing up safe, secure, and most of all loved.
Open communication also eases the fears donor families may feel that the child may unexpectedly show up on their doorstep years later. Because the door is open to correspondence, donor and adoptive families can freely communicate about any questions they have for each other. This reduces and even eliminates the need for the adopted child to find out information of their own volition. This is also beneficial for your own children, as they too will be interested in forming a relationship with the child (especially if they are close in age!).
Open adoption and communication form positive relationships between donors and adoptive families.
While you may feel that having communication with the adoptive family would be too painful right now, you most likely will not feel that way once the embryos have been donated and a baby is born. The child will seem more like theirs—like the baby was meant to be in their family all along.
The adoptive family is more like you than you may realize… They struggled with infertility, they had a strong desire to experience pregnancy and childbirth, and they are forever grateful to you for giving them the gift of parenthood. They want you to share in their joy and happiness! Because you have been there yourself.
To learn more about how open adoption is beneficial for your family, you can view our webinar Addressing Fears Associated with Open Adoption. To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.