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  Cincinnati, Ohio 45242-5020
  Phone: 513-518-7006
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CONTACT: Betsy Donnelly
Phone 913.236.7757

(Cincinnati, OH)
– Infertility is a heartache so painful, many couples never recover emotionally or financially. But a relatively new method of bringing children to waiting parents is filling hearts and homes around the world.

Embryo adoption, which combines assisted reproductive techniques with adoption, is rapidly gaining attention as a viable alternative to infertility. And unlike traditional adoptions, embryo adoption provides the added benefit of giving more women the opportunity to experience pregnancy and give birth.

“ This is truly the best example of the good things that can happen when you combine the power of medical science with the power of human compassion,” says Bonnie J. Bernard MS, an adoptive mother and executive director of Cincinnati-based Embryos Alive. “So many couples feel their journey to parenthood has ended and there is no other direction for them to go. Why not consider embryo donation as a viable alternative?”

According to Bernard, who has clients from around the world, more than six million couples throughout the U.S. are infertile. At the same time, there are approximately 400,000 frozen embryos left over from fertility treatments in America – many of which are at risk of being discarded or used for medical research. However, many individuals feel that donating those embryos to a couple who is unable to conceive is a more life-honoring solution.

Bernard adds that statistics show only 40% of the 400,000 frozen embryos would survive thawing. And only 50 percent of these babies would actually live. Still, says Bernard, thatís a huge number of potential babies!

Embryo adoption works for those couples who need sperm and/or egg donation, and who are likely to carry a pregnancy to term. With each transfer of an embryo to a waiting couple, there is a 20-25 percent chance of pregnancy.

“ It’s a huge gift to give life a chance,” says Bernard. “And that is so much better than the alternative.”

In the case of embryo adoption, both donors and adoptive parents must undergo social, medical and psychological screening. And unlike the many years couples are forced to wait in traditional adoptions, embryo adoptions can occur in two to nine months. Typically, says Bernard, the cost of embryo adoption (around $4,500 plus shipping and cycle transfer fees) is less than an adoption at birth. In some cases, additional fees are required to reimburse the birthparents’ cost of storing their frozen embryos.

At present, adoption laws do not apply to embryo adoptions. In fact, based on current law, adoption only refers to the placement of a child after birth. Instead, says Bernard, agencies and couples rely on legal agreements and relinquishments between the parties involved.

As might be expected, there are a number of variables that affect embryo adoption, Bernard says, including open vs. closed adoptions, agency-liaison adoptions, the existence of siblings from the donating couple, and many other issues. However, says Bernard, many of these issues can be appropriately addressed in legal agreements.

“ Embryo adoption is not without risks – the risk that the embryo will not survive thawing or the risk that the transfer won’t be successful,” says Bernard. “But when everything comes together, the payoff is unbelievable!”

For more information about Embryo Adoption, go to, or contact Bonnie Bernard at

Embryo's Alive
P.O. Box 42841
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242-5020

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

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

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