Adopting Parents: Embryo Adoption

Adopting frozen embryos is becoming a more popular and more widely accepted procedure. Those who might consider adopting frozen embryos are often couples who are struggling with infertility and may not be able to afford the costs of IVF. They have had unsuccessful IVF treatments, or they may be women who are unable to carry a baby to term on their own so have chosen a surrogate to carry the adopted embryos to term for them.

Usually those who adopt an embryo are already pre-disposed to adoption. They may have already gone through a traditional adoption. Perhaps the individual or couple wants to have a newborn but doesn't want to go through the emotional turmoil and expense of trying to adopt an infant internationally or locally.

Another appeal that embryo adoption holds for many couples is that they'll be able to experience pregnancy and they'll know their children have received the right prenatal care and weren't exposed to drugs or alcohol during pregnancy.

The Risks

Embryo adoption is not without risks. Scientists don't know for sure if the cryopreservation technique used to freeze embryos could potentially cause birth defects. It looks as though this is not the case. In the domestic animal industry cryopreservation has been used for years on a large scale and this large scale use hasn't resulted in unusually high numbers of birth defects. Human embryo cryopreservation isn't near the level of large scale. Still, there are no studies that show an increase in babies born with abnormalities if they start life off as a frozen embryo.

Embryo adoption does not guarantee that the recipient will have a baby. The embryo needs to implant correctly and grow. The statistic success rate for this varies by clinic or program, but generally about 35 percent of all adopted embryos end with the birth of a healthy baby.

The Costs

Most of the costs of adopting an embryo are paid for by the adopting family. In most cases, the donating family does not receive payment for their donation. The adopting family is not expected to pay for the donors IVF expenses. Before a match is made, the donor family is responsible for paying the storage fees. After a match, the adopting family may be asked to pay the storage fees.

Table of Contents
1. Adopt an Embryo
2. What will it cost me?
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