If you are in the midst of an embryo adoption process, most likely you find yourself eagerly anticipating the moment when you receive the news you have been waiting for—that you have been matched with embryos!

Whether you open that message with swift excitement or approach it with a more measured pace, the match may reveal details that may elicit enthusiasm, uncertainty, or perhaps even disappointment.

If you chose to adopt embryos through an embryo adoption program, the matching process may have initially drew you to apply, as these programs match based on mutual-matching preferences. Instead of encouraging you to seek out a checklist of similarities between you and the embryo donor family, we propose a different perspective:

Consider your match as an introduction to embryos eagerly awaiting adoption into a family that can provide them with the opportunity for life.

The embryo donor family may be remarkably like yours, or they might be entirely different. Visualize the matching process as a Venn diagram. Mutual-matching embryo adoption programs strive to identify the set of embryos that aligns best with the needs of three parties involved—you (the adoptive family), the embryo donor family, and your fertility clinic.

While your preferences are vital, they are not the sole determining factor when accepting a match.

If doubts linger about a proposed match, reflect on the specific concerns you have and explore ways to address or articulate them. If you are concerned about the health history of the embryos, assess whether there is a notable aspect in the family’s medical background that requires special consideration. Consider your own family history for context and evaluate whether any potential medical issues could be managed with ample support and resources.

In the case of concerns related to family dynamics or lifestyle, such as interests, hobbies, and values, contemplate the anticipated impact of these discrepancies on your relationship with the embryo donors. Are these differences perceived as insurmountable obstacles, or could they potentially enrich your family dynamics?

For those whose concerns may be intangible or challenging to articulate, take the time to reflect and, if necessary, discuss with loved ones to identify the root of your hesitation. The matching process in any adoption can evoke a mix of excitement and apprehension, so it is good to confer with someone who will lend a supportive ear.

To learn more about the different embryo adoption or donation programs available to your family, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.