This blog was originally published by Nate Birt on The Silver Maple Memo. A blog for the embryo-adoption community (and the curious observer) featuring insights on life and parenting, Christian perspective on current events, and how to find calm (and purpose) through faith, family, work, nature.

As the year winds to a close, I thought I’d take a moment to speak to those of you who might be considering embryo adoption.

Full disclosure: If this isn’t you, feel free to go put away your Christmas decorations or revisit your New Year’s party plan. Or keep reading, just know this one might be a little specific for your interests!

I often tell people that my book, “Frozen, But Not Forgotten,” is the guide I wish Julie and I could have referenced as we began our embryo adoption journey. I had all kinds of questions back then, among them:

  • What exactly is embryo adoption?
  • Why does it matter?
  • How long does it take?
  • How does it compare to domestic or international adoption?
  • What’s an open adoption like?
  • Won’t people look at me funny (foremost among them, my adopted child)?

And so on.

Perhaps you see yourself or your spouse in one of the questions above. Or maybe you’re already on the embryo adoption path with energetic little people bouncing around your four walls.

Whatever your situation, embryo adoption can absolutely be a viable and exciting opportunity for you in the New Year if the following conditions are true:

  • You are spiritually prepared: You’ve prayed about this for a long time. You understand the responsibilities that come with parenting of any child, including the special needs and privileges of raising an adopted child, and you’re ready to move forward.
  • You are physically prepared: You have studied what it takes to go through the embryo adoption process, including planning, paperwork and physical requirements for moms-to-be. You’ve visited your doctor or plan to do so in the near future to talk through next steps.
  • You are emotionally prepared: You recognize that while many families experience the joy of carrying an embryo-adopted baby to term, others do not. Sadly, there are no guarantees bringing little people into the world. You are ready for whatever happens and have the resilience, grace and community to carry you day by day.
  • You are financially prepared: You recognize you’ll need to fund this journey, which includes doctor’s visits, medication, paperwork, embryo transportation and transfer costs, and more. In your view, these aren’t expenses so much as investments in your children and your family’s future.
  • You are relationally prepared: Even if you haven’t widely shared your intentions to pursue embryo adoption, your spouse is on board 100%. Ideally, you have a select few family, friends or online contacts via embryo adoption support groups who can encourage you when you face challenges and celebrate the victories you’re sure to experience.

If you can answer “yes” to most or all of these questions, odds are good you are ready to embark on an embryo adoption journey. If you can only answer “yes” to a handful, those unchecked boxes can help you focus your time and energy. What would it take to get ready financially? You could set aside a portion of your income each month so you can cash flow your adoption. How about preparing spiritually and emotionally? It might be a good idea to spend time praying and reflecting on the kinds of personal and family growth you’ll want to undertake to ready yourself for the adoption season.

Adoption in any form is deeply personal for everyone involved. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your loved ones to make a decision quickly. Your mind like a stovetop, and big decisions can benefit from its ability to heat ideas slowly until the time is right to act on them.

Pour a dash of embryo adoption into a small pan, move it to the back burner of your mind and let it simmer. When the time is right, you’ll know. Either the embryo adoption question will become so loud you just can’t ignore it a moment longer. Or, perhaps, it will fade quietly. Adoption might not be for you, but there are undoubtedly ways you can help others—an encouraging word, a contribution to an adoption agency whose values you admire.

Celebrate this season of unknowns and opportunities. Pretty soon, if you decide embryo adoption is for you, you’ll be busy as a beaver—and onto the next exciting stage for your family.

Have a wonderful start to your New Year, friends. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got in store.


Learn more about embryo adoption and donation at