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  • Unused Frozen Embryo Disposition Options

    Disposition Options for Unused Frozen EmbryosMany infertility patients end treatment with frozen embryos remaining and must decide what to do with these unused leftover embryos. Their options include: donating to another couple for family building, donating to research, thawing and discarding (including compassionate transfer), or continuing indefinite storage. In the US, your options may be limited by state law.

    In addition to the extensive resources listed below, Creating a Family also has an entire section on the option of donating embryos to another family – Embryo Donation (also sometimes called Embryo Adoption). We also maintain a list of laboratories and tissue banks that accept embryos for research.

    + Research on What and How Fertility Patients Decide on Embryo Disposition

    • “Fertility Patients’ Views about Frozen Embryo Disposition: Results of a Multi-Institutional U.S. Survey” by Anne D. Lyerly, published in Fertility and Sterility, September 2008.  This is the largest survey (1000 patients) on what patients with leftover embryos want to do with them. The majority preferred to donate to research. There is a good article summarizing the research at Medical News Today.
    • “Disposition of Cryopreserved Embryos by Infertility Patients Desiring to Discontinue Storage” by Susan Lanzendor, published in Fertility and Sterility, March 2009. 59% preferred donating to scientific research, 38% preferred discarding, and 3% preferred donating to a known or anonymous person/couple for attempted pregnancy. An abstract is available at Fertility & Sterility.
    • “How Couples Who Have Undergone In Vitro Fertilization Decide What to do with Surplus Frozen Embryos” by Robert D. Nachtigall, published in Fertility and Sterility, December 2009.  An abstract is available at Fertility & Sterility.

    Creating a Family has many resources to help you evaluate all your options for how to dispose of your embryos remaining after fertility treatment. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:

    Many more Creating a Family radio interviews with experts, videos, blogs, fact sheets, and Q and A’s with Experts on embryo disposition options can be found at the icons below.

    Image credit: Mike_tn


    Additional Resources

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    Creating a Family Radio Shows on Embryo Disposal

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    Creating a Family Blogs on Embryo Disposal

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    Creating a Family Factsheets, Tips on Embryo Disposal

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    Creating a Family Videos on Embryo Disposal

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    Q and A's with Experts on Embryo Disposal

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    Content created by Creating a Family. And remember, there are no guarantees in adoption or infertility treatment. The information provided or referenced on this website should be used only as part of an overall plan to help educate you about the joys and challenges of adopting a child or dealing with infertility. Although the following seems obvious, our attorney insists that we tell you specifically that the information provided on this site may not be appropriate or applicable to you, and despite our best efforts, it may contain errors or important omissions. You should rely only upon the professionals you employ to assist you directly with your individual circumstances. CREATING A FAMILY DOES NOT WARRANT THE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS contained or referenced on this website. CREATING A FAMILY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS or omissions in this information and materials and PROVIDES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, implied, express or statutory. IN NO EVENT WILL CREATING A FAMILY BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the information or materials, EVEN IF CREATING A FAMILY OR ITS AGENTS ARE NEGLIGENT AND/OR ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.