embryo adoption embryo donation

Is It Really Donation?

By on December 10, 2009

An email appeared in my email box about an “Embryo Donation Center” — and I was initially excited about that — “Finally, a place where parents to be can receive donated embryos and pay reasonable and appropriate costs associated with actual embryo donation. You know storage fee’s, a legal contract, the actual transfer, etc..”

As I began to read this email I shook my head ever so slightly as I wasn’t quite getting what this “center” was saying.

They state that based on current law US law adoption only refers to the placement of a child after birth. Therefore, instead of using adoption laws, legal agreements are used to govern the process of embryo donation. The recipient parents’ relationship with the child is just as binding as a legal adoption.

I liked this — very much. It’s the same kind of language clinics use when a couple completed an egg donor cycle.

And then I read their fee schedule – and began to read further which is where I became really confused. I decided to research other “Embryo Donation Centers” as well as “Embryo Adoption” agencies and was horrified to find out that most places require you to be married — and one person as to be a wife and one person has to be a husband. Same sex couples aren’t even mentioned. (That really bothered me). Most couples have to be married at least three years. The woman has to be no older than 45. The woman has to agree not to smoke during the process, during the embryo tranfer, or the pregnancy. (What are they doing to do? Reach in and take the baby away? While I am all for not smoking especially during pregnancy I am not sure if they could legally make this stick). Oh — and those who don’t have any biological or genetic children get first crack, your ages together can’t be more than 100, and at least one of you needs to be a US Citizen.

Last but not least you have to pass a home study. Now isn’t a home study reserved for adoption? And if you are an embryo donation center are you really contradicting yourself?

So what I want to know is — is it really donating an embryo when a center is treating a recipient couple like an adoptive couple. And how can adoptive couple adopt something that may or may not be born. What happens after a transfer and a couple has spent 6-8k for this process and it doesn’t work. They don’t get their money back — are they encouraged to come back and spend another 6-8k to try to “adopt” again?

This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up nights and makes me say “Hmmmmm:

Someone enlighten me?

  1. Reply

    Stephanie Caballero

    December 10, 2009

    I completely agree! The definition of adopt is: To take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child. When an embryo is donated it is, among other things, a hope and the possibility of child, but at that point, it is personal property and not a child.

    Further, a transfer of ownership via a legal agreement and medical and psychological evaluations should be the most significant requirements, not gender, marital status, age, etc. Those embryo adoption agencies charge thousands of dollars and that really isn’t necessary at all.

  2. Reply


    January 12, 2010

    Totally agree. I would never have been accepted by any of these agencies. I’m single and was 45 at the time of my donor FET. I was 46 when I gave birth to my amazing donor embie daughter 6 weeks ago.

    My situation was an open donation. No home study. My donor and I wrote our own contract.

    These agencies have a political agenda to restrict reproductive rights. Unacceptable.



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