Within the past 20 years, a tremendous shift has occurred in how people bring children into their family. Today, instead of first considering adoption when facing a diagnosis of infertility, a couple will often first turn to medical science to help them achieve pregnancy and childbirth. Adoption is the backup plan.
In vitro fertilization use in the United States grows at a rate of 4-6% a year as 1 out of 8 couples will experience some form of infertility. Not everyone can afford IVF. Some people can’t afford it but believe it is the only viable option available to them and they become buried in debt. Embryo adoption is a proven successful option for these families and is much more affordable: averaging $12K - $15K.
The other reality is that domestic infant adoption and international adoption have become more expensive and more difficult over the years. A family interested in adopting a newborn the United States may face a long waiting time to be selected by a birth mother accompanied by an average cost of $25,000 - $30,000.
Why don’t more people adopt embryos? While it is not the right choice for everyone, the reason more people don’t participate is that they don’t know about it!
When Renee and David learned it would be very unlikely for them to achieve pregnancy naturally their first thoughts turned to infant adoption. Renee, a social worker by profession, was providing home study services to an adoption agency at the time and decided to inquire about domestic adoption through that agency. They had never heard of embryo adoption.
But the agency director introduced them to the option of embryo adoption and they decided to make it their adoption path. “The idea of getting to experience pregnancy was really neat for me. I really wanted that,” said Renee. So they decided to adopt an infant nine months earlier than normal.
Their doctor advised against it based on her misunderstanding of the quality of donated embryos.
But David and Renee didn’t hesitate. As in a traditional adoption, they completed a home study and created a family profile of themselves. They were matched with an out-of-state couple who gifted them with 12 embryos, frozen in 2009.
They scheduled their frozen embryo transfer and six embryos were thawed. Four of the six didn’t survive. Two were transferred. Hannah Faith was born.
“I truly believe that God had her set apart as a little embryo for our family,” said David.
Hannah has three genetic siblings living in another state. Her story won’t be a secret. Hannah’s parents plan to tell her about the “snowflake baby” who melted their hearts.