When you complete your IVF journey, yet still have remaining embryos, you may be thinking, “What do I do?

After considering the alternatives (discarding, donating to science, compassionate transfers, etc.), you finally land on embryo donation, which allows another family the opportunity to adopt your embryos, so they can experience the joy of raising a family, like your own.

In theory, it sounds simple enough, but actually going through with the donation may be harder than you realized… Embryo donation can provide you with incredible hope and lasting joy; however, taking the first couple of steps can be daunting.

We have spoken with thousands of parents, many of whom decided to go through with embryo donation, and we can tell you that one of the most popular phrases we hear is, “This is the best thing I have ever done!”

At the same time, they will be the first to admit the journey was difficult.

There are a multitude of questions racing through their heads, resulting in a deluge of emotions. They then find themselves navigating a hotbed of feelings dealing with loss, embarrassment, fear, shame, disappointment, failure, and guilt. They struggle with the guilt of not being able to bring these children into the world themselves  due to age, health, or finances.

Moreover, they admit to listening to others who did not provide accurate information or lacked emotional support, which then added to their stress, and ultimately their ability to follow through. The reality is that some will walk alongside you, recognizing your generosity and love while cheering you on as you make a difference.

If we can impart anything to you as a parent, it is that you are amazing!

To be a parent is never easy.  It takes effort, sacrifice, and love. Gifting your remaining embryos to another couple is the greatest expression of love, not only for the family who will receive the embryos, but for the embryos themselves. While you may not be able to bring these children into the world personally, you are saying they matter and are deeply loved. You are allowing them to have a future and that is commendable. You need to allow yourself the freedom to experience peace, forgive yourself, and recognize that what you are doing is truly a wonderful thing.

To learn more about embryo donation, visit embryoadoption.org.