Having remaining embryos after you have finished building your family may not be something you were prepared to face. Alternatively, maybe you knew with certainty what you would do with your remaining embryos.  Regardless, many questions may come up as a family is deciding whether to donate remaining embryos as many families have concerns or fears about embryo donation.

“How will I know if babies are born from the embryos and if these children are doing well?”

There are embryo adoption or embryo donation programs you can donate your embryos through, which offer an open relationship model between families. Like the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. The level of openness stretches across the spectrum from medicated contact all the way to families meeting in person someday. Secondly, it is completely natural to worry about the welfare of a genetic child. Adoptive families go through initial screening, counseling and a home visit to ensure the child will be in a safe and loving environment.

“What will my family think?”

Worrying about what your immediate and extended family will think of your decision to donate is an understandable concern. When speaking to your family, you can share with them that these embryos were created with the intention of giving them a chance to live a full life. Donating your remaining embryos to another family who have also struggled with infertility is one of the greatest gifts you could give to their family.

“Do I tell my children about donating our embryos?”

Yes. You can explain to your kids that you needed a little help to bring them into the world and that another family needed some help to have babies. If you are opting for the open adoption or designated donation model, your kids may have the opportunity to meet their biological siblings someday. Many couples who have an open relationship with the donating family even consider the adoptive family to be extended family.

Remember that you are not alone as you consider giving this gift of love, life, and parenthood to a waiting family. If you have any questions or concerns about donating your remaining embryos, visit embryoadoption.org where you can find many resources and you can speak to experts about the embryo donation process.