Embryo Adoptions

Embryo Adoptions

Embryo adoption was established in 1997 by Nightlight Christian Adoptions through their Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program.  Since then, more than 200 children have been born through the Snowflakes program. It requires very similar steps when adopting a child, only it allows the adopting family to experience the pregnancy and birth of an adopted child. In the US, embryos are generally governed by property law and on July 1, 2009 the State of Georgia was the first state to provide a law regarding embryo adoption procedures.

Ownership of the embryos is given to the adopting family by the donating family via contract. Embryos are owned by the adopting family before they are transferred into the adopting mother’s womb. This way, the adopting mother is legally the child’s mother at birth and her husband is the father. It’s a great way to help people build the families they’ve always dreamed of.

Steps to Embryo Adoption

As said before, the steps for adopting an embryo are very similar to adopting a child who has already been born. Here is a list of the steps an adopting family must take before the transfer of an embryo:

  • Choose an experienced adoption agency such as Nighlight Christian Adoptions or Miracles Waiting.
  • Provide a written declaration from your physician, with regards to your ability to carry a pregnancy full term.
  • Complete the agency’s application (Testing and Screening) process
  • Complete a Home Study
  • Wait for the agency to match you with a donor
  • Establish a mutual level of future contact/communications with the donor
  • Complete legal contracts
  • Proceed with the physician for transfer procedure

What Are The Risks?

It could be a blessing in disguise. Embryos don’t require anything like tissue matching for a successful implantation. Also, the process doesn’t involve any special or increased risk factors for donors or recipients. After specific studies were concluded 35% of women were able to implant and carry full term. Something that should be understood beforehand is that the donator might or might not want to remain anonymous. Depending on your feelings about the situation as an adoptive family, the risk of exposing the truth to your child will eventually come into play.

Embryo Adoption Costs

Embryo adoption, next to fostering, is the cheapest form of adopting when compared to domestic or international adoptions, repeated IVF cycles, and the cost of donor eggs. Depending on the program you enter into, it is generally less than $20,000 from beginning to end. Agency fees will range from $2,500-$10,000 but could include medical treatment. Home Studies, also known as family assessments will range from $1,000 to $2,500. Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET) usually range between $2,500 and $5,000. You might have to pay for additional things like the rental of the dry shipper for the embryos travel, and maybe even the lab test fees of the donating family.

[Page updated November 2013]