Shady Grove Fertility is pleased to offer patients the ability to donate their embryos either to a known (direct) recipient or an unidentified recipient—another patient at SGF. This program helps alleviate the concern of what to do with excess embryos and eliminates the monthly storage fee required to continue storing frozen embryos. Embryo donors do not incur any costs related to their donation.
Eligibility for embryo donation
In order to qualify as an Embryo Donor, patients must meet the following criteria:
- Embryo(s) must have been frozen January 2009 or later; utilizing the freezing technique known as vitrification.
- Patients must meet an age cut off limit, in regards to their age at the time the embryo(s) were created and frozen:
Female patients must have been 38 or younger at the time the embryo(s) were created.*
Male patients must have been 49 or younger at the time the embryo(s) were frozen.
- Patients who have undergone preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)—used in cases if both partners are known carriers of an inheritable genetic disorder—are ineligible to donate.
- Patients who have undergone preimplantation genetic screening (PGS)—used to look for abnormalities in chromosome number—are eligible to donate all normal embryo(s).
- Patients who used an egg donor are eligible, as long as the egg donor was 38 years or younger.
- Patients who used a sperm donor are eligible, as long as the sperm donor was 49 years or younger.
- Only embryo(s) created and stored in the blastocyst stage at Shady Grove Fertility are eligible for donation.
- Patients will be required to complete a “Risk Factor Questionnaire” and, based on the answers, some patients may be ineligible.
*In certain situations, we will consider accepting embryos from donor patients/couples who have exceeded the above age cutoff. In the event you have two or more embryos and had a prior successful outcome using embryos from the same treatment cycle, and are above the above age cutoff, please reach out to our Donor Embryo Coordinator, Alethia Woodley.
The process to donate your embryos is quite simple:
- If you meet the basic qualification criteria, the first step is to complete your Embryo Donor Profile through our partner site Embryo Options. On the Embryo Options site , you will be asked to complete an online “Profile,” including childhood pictures. Both partners, if applicable, will need to create their own profile and provide childhood pictures.
- We will ask you to meet with a mental health provider at Shady Grove Fertility to learn more about embryo donation and have an opportunity to obtain resources and ask questions. Shady Grove Fertility only requires one appointment.
- Lastly, we will ask you to read, sign, and return a consent form that releases your embryo(s) for donation. In the event you worked with an egg and/or sperm donor, a copy of the donor’s profile will be included.
If you are interested in learning more about our Donor Embryo Program, or to start the process of donating, please contact Alethia Woodley, Donor Embryo Coordinator, at Alethia.Woodley@sgfertility.com or 301-545-1230.
How long does the process take?
Based upon the time it takes for you to complete your Embryo Donor Profile, meet with a mental health provider, and sign the consent, the process can take as little as 2 weeks.
Are in-person appointments required for anonymous embryo donation?
No: for patients local to a Shady Grove Fertility office, you will only need one appointment in order to meet with a mental health provider. For non-local patients, you can arrange for the appointment with a mental health provider to take place via a video teleconference.
Is there a minimum or maximum number of embryos that I can donate?
No, you may donate as few as one embryo or as many frozen embryos that meet the eligibility requirements as you wish.
What type of information will be asked on the embryo donor profile?
The Embryo Donor Profile will provide an opportunity for prospective recipients to learn about you as the donating person/couple, in regards to your medical history, physical characteristics, as well as information about your family, including your children and their health history. We ask that you provide pictures of yourself as a child. When donating embryos anonymously, the prospective recipient wants information regarding the person/couple who created the embryos, therefore the accuracy and completeness of the information you provide on the profile is very important.
What happens if I change my mind after donating the embryos?
Shady Grove Fertility will wait 10 days following the donation before making the embryos available to a recipient. In the event you change your mind after 10 days, you must contact Shady Grove Fertility to inform us of your decision, at which time we will inform you if the embryo(s) remain available to you and have not been matched and/or used by a recipient. If the embryo(s) remain available, we will return them to you and you will need to determine disposition of the embryos.
Where can I turn if I have questions or need additional information about the Shady Grove Fertility’s Embryo Donation Program?
For questions, please contact Alethia Woodley, Shady Grove Fertility’s Donor Embryo Coordinator, by phone 301-545-1230 or email Alethia.Woodley@sgfertility.com.
Read all of the Embryo Donation FAQs.