Comparing Embryo Donation/Adoption Programs- How to Find Embryos

Dawn Davenport

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How to Find Embryos with Embryo Donation

When considering embryo donation/adoption as a way to create your family, you have four basic options for finding embryos: infertility clinics with embryo donation programs, adoption agencies with embryo donation or embryo adoption programs, infertility clinics that specialize in embryo donation, and self-directed matches. There is no one right way, but there may be a better way for you. Here are some differences.

Embryo Donation with Infertility Clinic

  • Treated as a medical procedure (frozen embryo transfer).
  • Usually anonymous donations are the only option.
  • No guarantee that records with identifying information will be kept for a long time.
  • Most clinics require that you already be a patient of the clinic before being accepted into their embryo donation program.
  • Usually a limited geographic dispersion (i.e. most donating families and receiving families live within a similar geographic area.)
  • Limited option for obtaining other embryos from the same batch for a genetic sibling.
  • Extensive evaluation of receiving families (home study) is usually not required.
  • Limited education/preparation provided to recipient family on non-genetic parenting, although many clinics require a session with a mental health professional.

Cost: $3,500-$7,000

Embryo Donation with an Adoption Agency (Embryo Adoption)

  • Usually treated as a form of adoption.
  • Both anonymous and some degree of shared information is usually available.
  • Records with identifying information will be kept permanently (or long-term).
  • Usually more geographic dispersion. (Most recruit embryos and receiving families nationally.)
  • Differ on whether the receiving family “selects” the embryos they want to receive based on a profile prepared by donating family, or the donating family “selects” the receiving family based on a profile they prepared, or whether it is mutual.
  • Level of contact between the donating and receiving families, if any, is mutually agreed upon in advance.
  • May be an option to receive other embryos in the same batch for a genetic sibling.
  • Most agencies follow the adoption model and require receiving families to have an extensive evaluation, often called a “home study”.
  • Most adoption agencies with an embryo donation program have programs to prepare receiving families for non-genetic parenting.
  • Not all infertility clinics will transfer embryos that were not created in their clinic; therefore, it may be hard to find a clinic nearby to do the frozen embryo transfer. Travel cost to another clinic that will do the transfer, adds to the cost.

Cost: $12,000-$15,000 (plus travel if required)

Medical Clinics That Specialize in Embryo Donation

  • There are only a few in the US.
  • Some use the adoption based model and some the medical procedure model and some offer both.
  • Anonymous or some degree of shared information is usually available, although cost may be more for shared information.
  • Records with identifying information will be kept permanently (or long term), but you will need to confirm what procedures the clinic has in place to maintain records in event they close.
  • Usually more geographic dispersion. (Most recruit embryos and receiving families nationally.)
  • Level of contact between the donating and receiving families, if any, is mutually agreed upon in advance.
  • May be an option to receive other embryos in the same batch for a genetic sibling.
  • The degree of recipient family evaluation (may be called a home study) differs depending on the program and the desires of both the donating and receiving families.
  • Preparation of recipient families for non-genetic parenting is usually not as involved as with adoption agency programs.
  • Programs require that recipient families travel to the clinic for the transfer.

Cost: $10,000-$16,000 plus travel

Self-Directed Matches

  • Found online or through friends or acquaintances. Some families find each other online and then turn the actual process over to an adoption agency with an embryo donation program, while others handle the entire process on their own.
  • Treated as a medical procedure if handled without the services of an adoption agency.
  • Families are arranging the donation amongst themselves so identifying information is shared. Degree of future communication or contact worked out between the parties.
  • May be an option to receive other embryos in the same batch for a genetic sibling.
  • Usually there is little formal evaluation of the recipient family unless an adoption agency is involved.
  • Usually there is little formal non-genetic parenting education of recipient family unless an adoption agency is involved.
  • Not all infertility clinics will transfer embryos that were not created in their clinic; therefore it may be hard to find a clinic nearby to do the frozen embryo transfer. Travel cost to another clinic that will do the transfer, adds to the cost.
  • The services of an attorney that specializes in reproductive law is required. Use these resources to find one.

Cost: $6,000 to $10,000 (frozen embryo transfer costs, shipping, and legal) (plus travel if required)

 

To learn more about these options, listen to my interview with Kimberly Tyson, Program Director of the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center.

 

Download

 

 If you built your family through embryo donation, where did you find your embryos?

05/02/2015 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog, Infertility Resources, Other Adoption Resources | 0 Comments



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