CONTACT: Betsy Donnelly
(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.
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
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 www.EmbryosAlive.com,
or contact Bonnie Bernard at EmbryosAlive@yahoo.com.
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