Embryo Adoptions and Donations:Giving Parents the Real Experience
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. 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.
Embryos are fertilized eggs that are created during the IVF process. During the IVF, more embryos are created than needed for the fresh cycle. The family for whom these embryos were created will often freeze the remaining embryos for their own future family building. Once the family building is completed, the family may then consider embryo donation of their remaining embryos. Donating embryos can give someone an opportunity to conceive when facing challenges of getting pregnant. Similar to donating sperm or unfertilized eggs, embryo donations can be done knowingly or anonymously. In most states, it’s legally treated as a transfer of private property, and medically treated as a donation of cells or tissue.
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