All About Embryo Adoption

baby peanut

It is very likely that you will have embryos remaining at the conclusion of your journey. Most intended parents will choose to freeze these embryos until they can decide what to do with them. In many cases, a time will come when you are certain that your family making process is complete, yet you will likely still have unused embryos to consider. While it is entirely possible that you could continue to pay the annual fee to retain these embryos, other families choose another route: embryo adoption.

Studies, like this one which was recently published by LawStreet Online, suggest that embryo adoption is a quickly rising trend. In the case of “Snowflake Adoption” as it is also called, a family chooses to donate their unused embryos. Later, another family who is struggling with fertility will adopt these embryos, thaw them, and attempt to implant them into another woman’s uterus through In-vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Just as with any adoption scenario, the original parents of the embryo would retain no rights to any child that results from adoption. Women and families turning to embryo donation may arrive at the choice to pursue adoption for a variety of reasons.

It is important to note that, as with many other things in the world of assisted reproduction, there are no federal mandates surrounding this emerging science. At present it is left up to state governance to mandate how embryo donation occurs and what steps must be taken in order to both surrender an embryo for adoption and to adopt that same embryo.

Currently Growing Generations does not operate an embryo adoption program. If embryo donation or adoption is something that interests you as your journey comes to a close, feel free to express your thoughts openly with your case specialist. He or she will be able to help answer any potential questions you may have and to perhaps give you the right direction to begin exploring these options on your own.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.