Are you feeling anxious and uncertain about what to do with your remaining embryos?

If you have finished building your family, but still have remaining embryos, embryo donation is an option you can consider! After all, you know these embryos have the potential to change lives for the better.

First, you must decide how to donate your remaining embryos.

When you choose an embryo donation program, one that allows you to have a say on where your embryos go and to whom, you have confidence that you are placing your embryos with a family you personally selected.

You might also consider a program that gives you options regarding follow-up communication. Do you want to stay connected with the adopting family or simply get updates once a year? This is a personal choice, and you must do what is right for your family. Although, in recent years, many families have opted for open relationships with the adopting or recipient families, as it is the best interest for all parties involved.

You also want to ensure the program is transparent, especially with any fees that could be involved. Some embryo donation or adoption programs may not tell you everything you up front, and as a result you could end up surprised (and not in a good way!). Ask questions like: Who is responsible for the FDA testing, legal fees, and embryo storage? If the program is well established, they will have no trouble sharing information and answering all your questions.

What are the first steps?

There is going to be some paperwork to complete. You will want to work with an embryo adoption or donation program that has streamlined the process for you. Ask them for an overview of the paperwork process, so you can feel more comfortable about the documents you need to sign.

Moreover, to give you peace of mind regarding the adopting or recipient families, ask how they are evaluated. Verify that the program fully assesses their applicants through background checks, such as medical health, financial stability, criminal background, or even an adoption home study.

Finding an adoptive or recipient family

Embryo adoption or donation programs have different matching processes, so it is important to ensure you are donating to a program who takes your wishes and preferences into account when it comes to finding the perfect recipient family for your embryos. Some will allow you to choose the family; others will inform you when a recipient family chooses you.

The information that is shared between parties also depends on the program. Some will require more information than just some pictures and medical history; others will require minimal medical information.

The legalities and embryo transport

Most of the time, embryo donors do not have to pay legal fees for their embryo donation contract, but it is important to verify this with the program you select. Is the program going to offer legal services between you and your matched family, or are you going to refer you to an outside attorney?

Furthermore, you will need to understand and decide how you will transport your embryos from storage to where the recipient will have their frozen embryo transfer performed. Sometimes your recipient family will travel to your fertility clinic for the FET. You’ll decide this together. The good news is that some programs will facilitate the embryo shipment for the recipient family at no cost to you! Which is a great benefit to you.


If you want to learn more about embryo donation process and how it may work for you, we recommend you start your research with the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program.

To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit