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  Cincinnati, Ohio 45242-5020
  Phone: 513-518-7006

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Matching donor embryos with adoptive families everywhere

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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is embryo adoption?

A:  Embryo adoption is the process of adopting frozen embryos from their donor parents (or genetic donors) and implanting them in the adoptive mother’s uterus via in vitro fertilization (IVF). 

 Q:  How successful is embryo adoption?

A:  Donated embryos face several hurdles before a successful birth. First, the embryos must survive the thawing process and then the transfer. Statistics report there is a 40% chance of thaw and 50% chance they will attach. )Although advances in the freezing techniques such as the "vitrification process" since 2007 are realizing between 70 and 90% chance of thaw rates.)  At that point, they are subject to the same challenges of any typical pregnancy.

 Q:  How many embryo adoptions in the U.S. have successfully produced children?

A:  This number is difficult to confirm, due to the requested anonymity and confidentiality many families seek. However, among industry professionals we know of 83 babies born to date and another 15 adopting families are currently expecting babies. Embryos Alive reports 32 live births or on the way as of December 2009. 

Q:  What is the current supply of frozen embryos?

A:  At present, there are about 400,000 frozen embryos stored in fertility clinics around the country. However, only half of those embryos (categorized as grade one or two embryos) are expected to survive upon thawing. Unfortunately, many embryo donors do not know of the option of adoption. According to the ASRM only 2% of those will be donated to another couple. Like traditional adoptions, there are often more couples hoping to adopt than are available embryos for adoption. Once again, demand is greater than the supply.

Nearly 70% of adults in the United States would choose donation to another couple for family building if they had unused frozen embryos. (July 2009 General Public Survey, I/H/R Research Group for NCA)  excerpt Embryo Awareness website Dec 2010

Q:  What will happen to those embryos that are not adopted?

A:  Embryo donors are given the choice of destroying the embryos or releasing them for medical research. Embryos may be frozen indefinitely. Embryos Alive has one live birth and one pregnancy that were a result of  embryos stored in 1999.

 

Q:  What is the cost of embryo adoption?

A:  Surprisingly, the cost of embryo adoption is much less than the cost of traditional after-birth adoptions. Most embryo adoptions cost between $4,000 and $10,000, which includes the transfer of the embryos to the adoptive mother’s uterus. The remainder of the fee is used to reimburse the genetic couple for their lab and storage expenses. Most traditional adoptions—as well as most IVF procedures—easily cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

 

Q:  What are the legal ramifications of embryo adoptions?

A:  Embryo adoptions are strictly legal, as there are currently no laws governing the process. A legal and binding agreement is written between all parties involved..

 

Q:  What do the donors and adoptive parents know about one another?

A:  Much like traditional post-birth adoptions, embryo adoptions can be transparent, closed with recomended DSR Donor Sibling Registry or agency-liaison. While many genetic couples or donor parents wish to remain anonymous, the adoptive couple does receive their medical information.  And in most of the cases, the donors select the adoptive parent/s based on personal information that is provided in the couple’s profile, which includes background checks and/or a homestudy maintained at the Embryos Alive office. There are also many cases where the couples exchange names and e-mails, meet before the transfer, and continue an transparent relationship once the child is born.

 

Q:  Why would a couple choose to donate their embryos?

A:  Because IVF is a painful and expensive procedure, doctors choose to harvest and fertilize numerous eggs for multiple attempts at a pregnancy. Often, several embryos are frozen for future use. Of course, couples never intend to parent that many children, so they are left with the agonizing decision of what to do with the remaining embryos. Their choices are to destroy them, donate them to medical research or offer them to another couple for adoption. Those parents who choose to offer their embryos for adoption believe that it is best to give life a chance.

 

Q:  How many embryos are transferred at one time?

A:  Typically, doctors will transfer two to three embryos at a time, depending on the age of the donor at the time of storage, and provide the couple with two to three opportunities for implantation.

 

Q:  Is there an increased risk of birth abnormalities?

A:  The risk of birth abnormalities is no greater in embryo adoption than in a couple’s own genetic pregnancy.

 

Embryo's Alive
P.O. Box 42841
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242-5020
E-mail: EmbryosAlive@yahoo.com

Hours 9:30 to 4:30 Monday–Friday Eastern Standard Time

Phone: 513-518-7006 Fax: 727-489-2427

 

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