Deciding to grow your family through embryo adoption introduces your family to a new and exciting adoption journey. As you are looking to prepare for this adoption process, you should include the preparation of your mind, your body, your family, and your life, in the planning process.

The embryo adoption timeline can take anywhere from 8-14 months. Gain a clear understanding of how the embryo donation or adoption program you choose works. This will help you set appropriate expectations.

Determine the Cost

Determining cost is one of the first steps in the process of growing your family through embryo adoption. Embryo adoption is considerably less expensive than other forms of adoption or services like in vitro fertilization (IVF). The cost of the embryo adoption process can vary by state; it is important to understand the average cost to prepare you for the start of your journey.

Reviewing your finances at the start of your adoption process will help you decide what financial assistance you may need. Ensuring you have a healthy credit score to apply for a personal loan should you need one can alleviate any worry about affording the adoption procedures. This can quickly provide aid, whereas grants and scholarships available to adoptive parents can have longer approval times. Reducing financial stress early on can help you focus on other aspects of your journey.

Apply to a Program

There are a multitude of ways to receive donated embryos, but finding the right program for you and your family is important. Your reproductive endocrinologist may have recommendations for you. Connecting with others who have already completed embryo adoption either directly or via online stories may help you gain a clearer understanding of a particular program.

Complete Your Home Study

As with any type of adoption, there are steps future parents need to take to ensure their home is fit for a child. Completing an adoption home study prepares you for adopting your child and provides the embryo donor with peace of mind about your ability to parent. Between background checks and educational foundations for adoptive parents, the safeguarding of new life is paramount. Guiding parents through what they should expect as their child grows up, the conversations they will have with them, and instilling a baseline of sensitivity for open communication.

Match with a Donor

The process for matching with a donor starts with a lot of reflection from you and your partner. You need to take time to discuss the things you are looking for from a donor family. This could include the age of the donor, medical history, if they have children already born from the embryos, etc. (These are also factors the donor takes into consideration when it comes to choosing a family, like yours, to donate to.) Donors receive information about prospective parents that include an introductory letter, family history, pictures, etc. that can help them decide if you and your family are the right choice for them. As you take the time to screen embryo donors, remember they screen you, as well.

Finalize Legal Matters

With embryo adoption, the legal matters are different from other adoption methods. As the law deems embryos as property, it is important to transfer ownership of the donor embryos to the adoptive family. Another legal matter to finalize is the relinquishment of rights and responsibilities to the embryos and any children born from them from the donor to you and your family. Working closely with your adoption program will help you handle these legal issues with ease.

Transfer & Pregnancy

The last step of the embryo adoption timeline is scheduling your frozen embryo transfer (FET) and pregnancy! Schedule an appointment with the fertility clinic your embryos are housed at to determine initial details of the transfer (any fees associated with the FET will be billed through this facility). Hopefully, if everything goes according to plan, the FET will be successful, the pregnancy smooth, and you will soon be taking your baby home!

To learn more information about embryo adoption and donation, visit