We are adopting again!!
But this time we are going about it a little differently. This time we are adopting embryos. This is called Embryo adoption or Snowflake adoption. These little frozen embryos are each unique and all are truly a gift from God. Thus we have the term “snowflakes”.
There are over 600,000 healthy, viable embryos in the United states alone that are available for adoption!!
How it all works…
These little snowflake embryos are NOT biologically our embryos. Another family who went through infertility just like us had a successful round of IVF – they likely were able to have one or more children and were finished building their family. They then had embryos remaining – biologically theirs.
When going through IVF you have several options with your remaining embryos:
Use for Reproduction: You can keep the embryos for future attempts at pregnancy. But you should plan for some expenses as the fertility clinic charges a storage fee even between IVF cycles.
Donate to Research: If your fertility clinic has a partnership with a research facility you can donate your embryos to various types of medical and scientific research.
Donate to Another Couple: You can choose to donate your embryos to an infertile couple in hopes that they have a baby.
Freeze Indefinitely: Some patients choose to store their embryos with their clinic indefinitely. This can be a costly option as the clinics will charge either per month or per year for storage. Sometimes patients feel this is their only choice because they are unaware of the other options.
Thaw & Discard: The embryos are taken out of storage by the clinic, thawed in the lab, and at that point they stop growing and dividing.
Perform A Disposal Ceremony: You can take the embryos from the fertility clinic and dispose of them as you see fit, such as having a personal ceremony or creating a special moment to come to closure regarding the embryos.
Receive A Compassionate Transfer: You can talk to your doctor about transferring your embryos at a time in your cycle when there is no chance for you to become pregnant. Your body will take care of the embryos naturally.
We will be taking the embryos that a couple has chosen to donate to us. In fact, that family gets to choose us (similar to that of domestic adoption). We will have a semi-open adoption with this family since the children will be 100% biological siblings.
Since Justin and I cannot create a viable embryo together due to balanced translocation and likely other unseen incompatibilities we have together, we will be transferring someone else’s embryo into me (Sheila… it would be weird if they could do it with Justin). I will carry the embryo the same as a surrogate would carry a child. The great thing about embryo adoption is that all of the adoption paperwork is done up front. So the adoption is complete by the time the embryo(s) are transplanted into me. Upon giving birth, the child(ren) are 100% legally ours. Just like with domestic infant adoption, we are going through an adoption agency: Nightlight Christian Adoptions
Isn’t that crazy!! Well, I think it is. We are so excited to start this process. Hopefully we will be announcing some exciting news in the next 12 months. We really have no idea on the time frame of when this can all take place. It depends on how quickly we get chosen and where we will have to travel too for the procedure (United States only). There is no guarantee that this procedure will work either – just like any fertility procedure there are statistics but no guarantees. The current statistics for this procedure is around 45%. This means that 45% of the embryos that survive the thawing process and are transferred into the prepared mother’s womb are born nine months later!
So wish us luck this year and until that day that Nikolas becomes a big brother – we will have our hands full with a very active little toddler!