When we hear the word “donate,” images of giving away old coats, used shoes, or spare change often come to mind. On the other hand, the term “adopt” evokes a powerful image of a family warmly welcoming a child as their own. In the world of fertility treatments, the choice of terminology becomes crucial, and the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program, the first embryo adoption program, prefers the term adoption to donation when it comes to gifting embryos to another family. In a world where embryo donation is becoming more prevalent in fertility clinics, it is essential to explore why some programs emphasize the adoption aspect, advocating for a conscious shift in language.

The Evolution of Embryo Donation Programs

In recent years, fertility clinics have increasingly introduced in-house embryo donation programs, a trend that has gained momentum with those seeking to build their families. However, the terminology used in these programs varies, with many opting for the term “embryo donation.” Some programs encourage the use of “embryo adoption.” This preference stems from a belief that the process of welcoming a child into a family through third-party embryo donation is more akin to traditional adoption than a simple act of donation.

The Power of Words

Regardless of the terminology used, the ultimate goal of gifting embryos is to bring forth the birth of a child, a child who will not be genetically related to their parents. This unique aspect draws parallels with the traditional adoption process. Unlike donating material possessions, embryo adoption involves the creation of a family where the bond is nurtured beyond genetic ties. Beyond definitions and technicalities, the impact of language on the lives of those involved cannot be overstated.

A Child’s Narrative

When considering the children born through embryo adoption, the choice of words takes on a profound significance. Communicating to a child that they were “adopted” rather than “donated” can shape their understanding of their origin in a more positive light. The term “adoption” emphasizes the intentional and heartfelt desire to bring a child into a family, fostering a sense of belonging and love.

Imagine a child being told that they were not merely donated but rather adopted—a choice made out of love, hope, and a deep desire for their presence in the family. The term “embryo adoption” reframes the narrative, highlighting the deliberate and cherished nature of the process. This shift in language seeks to ensure that children grow up knowing that their parents were not just the “recipients” of genetic material, but instead the chosen and cherished members of a loving family.

A Shift in Perspective

In the evolving landscape of fertility treatments, the choice between the terms “embryo adoption” and “embryo donation” carries significant weight. Some embryo adoption programs understand this and advocate for a conscious shift in language, emphasizing the profound nature of the process that results in the birth of a child who is deeply wanted and cherished. As we navigate the intricacies of modern family-building, embracing the power of words in the context of embryo adoption ensures that the children born through embryo adoption grow up with a narrative rooted in love, intentionality, and a profound sense of belonging.

To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.