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Embryo Adoption 101 Cost of Embryo Adoption Terminology Defined Videos Personal Stories Donor FAQs Counselor Support Network News Articles Where to Donate Webinar Registration Webinar Archives Glossary
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Where Can We Find Embryos?

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Choosing the right program is a critical step in the process, so do your research before this all-important selection. If you have already been pursuing assisted reproductive technology (ART) alternatives, you likely have a preferred reproductive endocrinologist physician. Otherwise you may want to start researching local fertility clinics. A good referral may be made by your OB/GYN.

You may choose to work through a clinic donation program or an adoption agency program. Some programs are centrally managed, requiring you to travel to that location for all procedures. Some programs will allow you to work with the doctor and clinic of your choice. Some families also choose to match themselves with a donor.

You have several alternatives when receiving embryos:

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Through an Embryo Adoption Agency

As the adopting family you will have the added benefit of receiving training on raising a child who is not genetically related to you through the home study process. The home study is about 80% education and 20% screening. This screening provides the donor family peace of mind that their embryos are going to the best possible match. The donating family will provide you with information regarding their current family structure, economic status, and social and medical history. The agency will work to match you with a family who best meets the criteria you have specified.


The families agree upon a mutual level of future communication. The communication may be facilitated by the agency if desired. This has proven to bring the best future outcomes for both the children who are born and the adopting and donating families. Historic records of the donation are maintained by the agency.

The agency will have the necessary legal documents for the transfer of property (the embryos) from the donating family to you, the adopting family. The agency will coordinate with the fertility clinics involved regarding medical testing required by the FDA and shipment of the embryos.


The adoption process can take time, but typically, embryo adoption agencies have embryos waiting for families to adopt them.


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Through a Fertility Clinic's Embryo Donation Program

Generally you receive little to no information regarding the donating family. Embryos are donated directly to the clinic, and the clinic determines who receives them. The embryos may be given to multiple families (e.g.: The genetic family donates 10 embryos, 4 are given to family A, 3 are given to family B and three are given to family C). There will likely be no communication between you and the donor family. Few, if any, historical records of the donation are maintained by the clinic.


You will want to be sure to have the appropriate legal documents completed prior to receiving anyones embryos. In these contracts the donating family terminates their ownership of the embryos and their future parental rights.


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Match Yourself with a Recipient.

You may know someone personally who has remaining embryos. You may arrange for a self-directed match. The onus is then upon you and the donating family for the legal, medical, regulatory and logistical necessities of the donation.


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