Many families seem to believe the donated embryos are few and far between. There are potentially many places to find donated embryos, but whether or not that provider actually has embryos available may be a different story… Some embryo adoption and donation programs have a wide variety of donated embryos available right now, while other places have a long list of recipient families waiting to be matched.
Below are four options available to you to receive donated embryos, and how readily they may be available:
Licensed Adoption Agency
The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program was the first adoption agency-based provider of embryo donation and adoption services and works with both donors and recipient families throughout the U.S. and the world. Many people who have remaining embryos in frozen storage are attracted to the Snowflakes program because they get to participate in the selection of the adopting (recipient) family.
The program always has donated embryos available, so instead of a waitlist, adoptive families will have a matching timeframe based on the preferences they have for a donor family, the embryos, and for future communication.
There are three other organizations in the U.S. who follow aspects of the adoption model for embryo donors and recipient families, but not all of them are licensed adoption agencies. These providers require an adoption home study or a criminal background check for recipient families: Embryo Connections, Embryo Adoption Services of Cedar Park, and Quiver Full Adoptions.
The National Embryo Donation Center is located in Knoxville, TN. It is a clinic-based program that focuses on receiving and storing remaining embryos from the U.S. and attracts couples wishing to be matched with donated embryos. The NEDC always has embryos available and they require an adoption home study.
Other fertility clinics throughout the country have internal embryo donation programs, but only receive embryos into the program from patients who previously completed their IVF cycles at that facility. This often leads to long waiting lists of hopeful recipients and no embryos available. No home study or criminal background check is required for internal donation programs, but most will require recipients to complete a psychological evaluation.
There are more than a few ways to find embryos through self-matching websites. These services usually allow embryo donors to participate at no-charge, and have various fee structures for recipients. The legal, medical, embryo transportation, clinic and FDA requirements are the responsibility of the two matched parties and not the matching service. A home study or criminal background check may or may not be required.
This is truly the DIY model for finding embryos! It places the full burden of vetting the individuals involved on the donors/recipients themselves. There are some embryo adoption programs who will assist self-matched families with the legal, medical, embryo transportation, clinic and FDA aspects of the process for a reduced fee.
There are donated embryos available right now. It is just a matter of your willingness to find them! It is important to understand the costs and risks involved with working with the various providers. Do your homework! Learn more about your options at EmbryoAdoption.org.