What is embryo adoption?

edited March 7 in Adopt a U.S. Baby
What is embryo adoption?


  • edited March 12
    An embryo is a fertilized egg still within a few weeks after being fertilized. Many couples who undergo IFV (In Vitro Fertilization, or out-of-body fertilization) have leftover fertilized eggs--or, embryos--after they feel their family is complete. They have several options for what to do with these embryos, and one is to donate them for other couples to use in order to have children.

    Before starting embryo adoption, a couple needs to consider if they are ready to move on from what put them in the situation for embryo adoption in the first place, whether they are comfortable raising a child that isn’t biologically theirs, and if they are comfortable religiously and personally with what embryo adoption is.

    Couples looking to adopt embryos do so through a fertility clinic, a couple they know personally who is looking to donate (using websites or agencies sometimes), or an adoption agency that does embryo adoption.

    Like regular adoption, a couple gets matched with a couple whose embryos fit their needs or descriptions. This can take time or can happen quickly; it depends on the agency, whether or not they have a waiting list, and what a couple is looking for.

    The mother of the matched couple then undergoes a frozen embryo transfer or FET. It’s just like a regular one for couples undergoing IFV except the embryo isn’t biologically theirs. The mother also undergoes hormone treatments.

    Because embryo adoption means pregnancy, it relies heavily on the medical condition, health, and age of the mother who will birth the child adopted as an embryo. If she has already had severe fertility challenges, embryo adoption may not be the best option.

    Embryo adoption overall has a 37% rate of live birth as of 2012, but this varies a lot depending on the mother, the agency, and the health, age, and length of freezing time of the embryo. It usually costs 2-5,000 dollars per FET, but agencies can range from 2.5-12 thousand. Depending on where the adoptive parents live and what they use to adopt, there can be other fees on top of the FET fee. The adoption can be closed, semi-open, or open, and because of this, there may not be medical records for the child.

    It definitely has its challenges, but people often choose embryo adoption to be able to experience the pregnancy and birth of their child. Parents can control the child’s prenatal environment and can bond with the child before birth. Sometimes, embryo adoption is the less costly option, and it is more easily and more quickly finalized than regular adoption.

    A lot of my numbers come from the guide to embryo adoption on Adoption.com. But if anybody knows more recent rates, that would be great.
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