Embryo Adoption

Where to Find Embryos

Finding the Right Embryo Adoption Program

Choosing the right program is a critical step in the process, so do your research before this all-important selection.

You may choose to work through a licensed adoption agency, such as the Snowflakes program, or through a fertility clinic donation program. Some programs are centrally managed, requiring you to travel to that location for procedures. Online matching programs are designed around self-matching. Managing the legal and clinic communications and more may be your responsibility. Some families find embryos through a friend or other connection.  In these instances, the Snowflakes program is available to assist with the details to finalize the exchange of embryos legally. Read below to learn the details of the types of programs. Deciding what type of program is best for you will help you hone your search down significantly, and moves you one step closer to building your family.

Established providers who have experience usually have more embryos available, enabling you to be matched more quickly.

Licensed and Accredited Embryo Adoption Agencies and Other Providers

There is only one licensed adoption agency providing embryo donation and adoption services in the U.S. and internationally. Other organizations include fertility clinics, established 501(c)3 entities, and online matching services. One clinic has an affiliated entity that accepts embryo donations and has a matching program for recipients. This organization also requires an embryo adoption home study. There are several smaller providers that have had success implementing donation and adoption services. They may refer to themselves as embryo adoption providers or embryo donation providers. This distinction is usually based upon the worldview of the particular organization. If they refer to the process as embryo adoption you will likely need to complete a home study. You may benefit from exploring the multiple options available to you.

These are programs internal to a specific fertility clinic and you need to be a patient of that clinic in order to participate. It is primarily seen as an assisted reproduction medical treatment.

The embryos that are donated to the clinic are embryos that were created at that clinic. The clinic will determine how an embryo set is divided and assigned to patients waiting for embryos. Embryo sets are frequently given to multiple families (e.g.: The genetic family donates ten embryos. Four are given to Family ‘A,’ three are given to Family ‘B,’ and three are given to family ‘C’). There will likely be no communication between you and the donor family nor the other family(ies) who received genetically related embryos to yours. Few permanent historical records of the donation are maintained by the clinic. Generally, as a recipient, you will receive little information regarding the donating family. The clinic usually ‘owns’ the embryos, not the original donor.

With clinic donation programs, waiting times to be matched with embryos can be long, as the process is wholly dependent on whether or not patients have donated embryos to the clinic donation program. 

You will want to be sure to have the appropriate legal documents completed prior to receiving donated embryos.  

 

A Fertility Clinic’s Embryo Donation Program

A Fertility Clinic’s Embryo Donation Program

Generally, you receive little information regarding the donating family. Embryos are donated directly to the clinic, and the clinic determines who receives them. The embryos may be given to multiple families (e.g.: The genetic family donates ten embryos. Four are given to Family ‘A,’ three are given to Family ‘B,’ and three are given to family ‘C’). There will likely be no communication between you and the donor family. Few historical records of the donation are maintained by the clinic.

You will want to be sure to have the appropriate legal documents completed prior to receiving another party’s embryos. In these contracts, the donating family terminates their ownership of the embryos and their future parental rights.

With clinic donation programs, wait time before being matched with embryos varies significantly, as the process is wholly dependent on whether or not patients have donated embryos to the clinic to match.

Self-Match

With A Donor

You may know someone personally who has remaining embryos, and you may arrange for a self-directed match. The responsibility is then upon you and the donating family for the legal, medical, regulatory, and logistical necessities of the donation. There are several websites available that also help you match yourself with a donor, and again, complying with all the legal, medical, regulatory, and logistical aspects of embryo donation is your responsibility. The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program offers assistance to self-matched families, tapping into their years of experience to help you complete your embryo adoption.

 

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