Embyro Donation


Terminology Defined

Sometimes words are most easily clarified by looking up their definition in the dictionary. Typically, placing or donating parents tend to use the term ‘donation’, while receiving or adopting couples tend to use the term ‘adoption’. The basis for this is largely psychological.

Donation is used in the sense of ‘giving a gift’ and offers an emotional separation from the embryos that the phrase ‘placing for adoption’ does not.


The act by which a person voluntarily transfers the title to something of which he is the owner, from himself to another, without any consideration, as a free gift. The act of giving or bestowing.


The act of adopting, or state of being adopted; voluntary acceptance of a child of other parents to be the same as one’s own child. The choosing and making something to be one’s own which originally was not.

Yet for you, the family wanting to parent the children born from such a gift, the term ‘adoption’ makes more emotional sense. You will be giving birth to a child. Adoption is the term that both legally and socially explains the transfer of parental rights associated with a traditional adoption. Adoption also helps to describe and explain to your child the way in which you became a family, since children are ‘adopted’ rather than ‘donated’.

Adoption processes provide you, your donor and your children with social/emotional guidance and support in addition to the medical treatments provided by a fertility clinic. Adoption programs give the donating family the option of choosing the receiving family and mutually determining the level of future interaction between families.

Embryo Donation Decision Tool

What To Do With Your Unused Embryos

A guide for sorting through the options

Many couples who choose in vitro fertilization (IVF) create more embryos than they finally use to build their family. Remaining embryos are in frozen storage. But now your family is happily completed and you are faced with an important decision: What will you do with these embryos?

We know this decision is deeply personal, requiring careful consideration. We invite you to work through this guide to help you sort through your feelings about the choices available to you. Writing things down can help clarify your thoughts and help you reach the best decision for you and your partner. You both may want to print and complete the form separately and then discuss your thoughts together.

Do you have questions?

This 32-page guide will walk you through the most commonly asked questions about embryo donation and embryo adoption.

Additional Resources

When Does Life Begin?

When does life begin is a serious question asked by many people. Does life begin at conception or does life start at some point before or after conception? The pro-choice vs. pro-life debate often asks this very questions about when does life begin, so these videos were made to provide you with answers.

Embryo Adoption Resources for Roman Catholics

Pathway2Family Magazine

For several years Nightlight Christian Adoptions created Pathway2Family magazine to help educate donors, adopters and medicinal professionals about this important topic. You may conveniently read this unique embryo donation and embryo adoption magazine on your favorite device.  Each issue contains insight regarding the process, visual guides, and family stories. We want to help you find your Pathway2Family.