CNN Story Recap: A family from Iowa was looking to grow their family through adoption when they heard about embryo adoption. Intrigued, they looked into the process, and found that embryo adoption would be a perfect match. Knowing that not all the embryos might result in a healthy pregnancy, the couple decided to put back two embryos. Today, the happy couple is pregnant with triplets.

What is embryo adoption?

In some cases, men and women that have gone through the IVF or donor egg process, might have unused embryos after treatment. In which case, there is a decision to make: freeze and save the embryos for future use, discard the embryos, or donate them.

Is embryo adoption really adoption?

No. In most states, adoption only refers to the placement of a child after birth. Legal agreements are established to oversee the process of embryo donation to help protect the recipient parent’s relationship with the child. However, according to Dr. Paulette Browne of Shady Grove Fertility’s Fair Oaks, VA office, “this is solely dependent on the family law and family judges in each state. This could potentially leave the intended parents unprotected if the genetic parents change their minds in the future.”

Does Shady Grove Fertility allow for embryo adoption?

SGF patients that have unused embryos are welcome to donate them if they no longer would like to store them and do not want to discard the embryos.

SGF does not accept the use of adopted embryos in our laboratories. In addition to the potential legal matters, there is significant screening necessary to use donated/adopted eggs, sperm and embryos. Often times, genetic parents won’t go through the appropriate screening because at the point in time in which the embryos were created, they themselves were the intended parents.

Egg donors and sperm donors go through extensive screening to ensure the health of any resulting child as well as the woman carrying the pregnancy.  This screening is required by law.

Would you like to learn more about embryo adoption?

If you are interested in placing your embryos for adoption, please contact the National Embryo Donation Center or Night Light’s Snowflakes® Program.

If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your fertility treatment options, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.