Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just what is embryos adoption?

I was reading a comment on a blog that was asking some questions about EA and I realized just how foreign of a concept it is to someone that has never heard of it before. I first learned of EA about 3 or 4 years ago so I have had time to learn much about it and take it for granted that everyone knows about it. But that is not true for many people and I want to take a few moments to explain just what EA is and how it is accomplished.

Embryo Adoption vs. Embryo Donation

You will hear these two terms used interchangeably when researching embryo adoption (EA) and may wonder what the difference is. There really is no difference between the two, though the term adoption is used when a home study is required and the process is much like an adoption and donation is used when the procedure is done through a clinic with an anonymous donation. Some prefer the term adoption to donation for personal reasons, but in the end they are quite similar.

What IS embryo adoption/donation?

When a couple undergoes IVF to add to their family ofttimes there are embryos that are frozen for later use. Sometimes the couple are unable to use these embryos (family is complete, cannot afford more treatments, spouse passes away, health reasons, etc) and the couple must choose the fate of these tiny frozen lives. They have three options:

1) Donate them for research
2) Discard them
3) Allow another couple to use them

Option number 3 is where EA comes in to play. This couple can either donate them anonymously to a clinic for another couple to use or they can choose a family for a more open donation/adoption. The recipient couple then has the embryos thawed and transferred to the woman. If it results in a pregnancy she will, in all actuality, be carrying and giving birth to her adopted child. The child(ren) will not share any genetics with the recipient couple. This makes it a great option for couples that have no sperm or egg issues as neither of which are used from the recipient couple.

How much does EA cost?

The costs vary tremendously by clinic and whether you choose to go the "adoption" route or the "donation" route. It can be as little as $1500 and go up to about $8000.

How long does it take for a match?

This varies as well. Some couples use the site Miracle's Waiting and have been matched in just days, others years. Most clinics have a wait list of about 6-12 months, but again, this can vary. Ours took about a month through our clinic.

Embryo Adoption is very near and dear to my heart as my little Maddie is here because of this miracle. We went through a clinic and it was anonymous so we do not know the donor couple. But I love them! Their selfless gift gave us the chance to be parents. And after 11 long years we honestly never thought that this would be possible. But it is also a wonderful choice because it gets these little babycicles out of the freezer and gives them a chance at life.

If anyone has questions about EA please feel free to ask me! And if I cannot answer your questions I am sure that there are other bloggers more than willing to answer them for you.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Where to begin?

For those considering Embryo Donation or Embryo Adoption it can be a daunting task to even know where to begin. By narrowing down a few details you can actually shorten the time it takes to get started in the process.

The most important thing to decide is whether or not you want this to be a Donation or an Adoption. The terms are used interchangeably but there is a difference. Donation is anonymous and done in more of a clinical fashion like IVF. Adoption is done more like a traditional adoption with a home study and the option for an open relationship with the donor family. If you want an open adoption then you have a few places to choose (see the ED/A Programs pages). From there you can narrow it down to which clinic/program suits your needs best. Some choose based up cost, others location or wait time and availability of embryos, and some just prefer a one program over another. There is no right or wrong way to choose a program, you just need to decide what things are important and base your decisions with those in mind.

If you are wanting an open donation/adoption but cost is an issue then you can use Miracle's Waiting. The wait time can be longer (though this is not always the case) and you have to do the leg work yourself, but it can be more affordable. Their website offers a lot of information to help navigate this route.

If you choose an anonymous donation you may have a bit more work in finding a clinic with an ED program. They are out there but they can be more difficult to locate and their wait times may be longer. This is not always true but is a possibility. (The ED/A Page lists the clinics that I am aware of as well). This route is usually less expensive and faster as there is no home study involved. If you want to pursue this route the best thing to do is to start calling any and all clinics that you can to ask if they have a program. If they do ask the following: availability of embryos, cost, how much medical and physical information is available on the donor couple, and what you need to do to get started. If they have an information packet as for one to be sent to you for future reference.

While there are several ways to pursue ED/A and it seems scary, it really isn't if you just take it one step at a time. Keep a notebook of things that you are looking for in a program and to record notes. And ask questions!! There are several blogs out there of those that have successfully completed the ED/A process and most of are willing to help in any way that we can.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Welcome to Dreaming of Conceiving!!! This blog is all about Embryo Donation/Adoption. If you have a child through ED/A, you belong here. If you have donated embryos, you belong here. If you are considering ED/A or in the process, this place is for you!!! Wherever you are in the ED/A process this blog is here to help. Here we can share success stories, ask questions, find support and share resources. If you have something that you would like to add or want to share your story please email me at dreamingofconceiving@gmail.com.

To the right is a list of ED/A blogs. If you would like your blog added either respond here or email me a link.

In the days to come I will be importing some blog posts from my personal EA blog, A Greater Yes.