Embryo Donation - A Family Building Option

(from RESOLVE)

Infertility treatments have helped thousands of women and men achieve their dream of parenthood. Some couples, who for a number of reasons cannot achieve pregnancy using their own eggs and sperm, decide to use donated embryos from another infertile couple to try and build their families.

After in vitro fertilization (IVF), an infertility treatment, there can be excess embryos, which are often frozen. Couples still trying to start a family may chose embryo donation because of their desire to experience pregnancy or may find embryo donation preferable to traditional adoption. Others consider using donated embryos because they believe that using embryo donation, as opposed to sperm or egg donation, eliminates the imbalance created when only one member of a couple has a genetic connection to their children. Also embryo donation is less expensive than egg donation.


If you are considering using donated embryos, you must be willing to undergo required medical screening and testing, meet with a mental health professional and seek legal consultation. Additionally, you will pay for any of the donor couple��s required tests, assume full responsibility for all donated embryos as well as any resulting children, and release the donors and the medical clinic or program from liability for any pregnancy complications that may arise. Most importantly, you usually must accept that a child born through embryo donation may have a genetic sibling being raised in another family.


There are two types of embryo donation to consider, anonymous donation and known donation. In an anonymous donation, the donor��s IVF clinic finds a match with a recipient couple and the donor couple may have a limited say in the selection process though efforts are made to match physical characteristics. In a known embryo donation, an embryo matching agency or program may facilitate the donation. The donor couple may choose to know detailed information about the recipient couple, the date of the embryo transfer and whether a pregnancy resulted, and may request periodic updates about the child.


Visit www.resolve.org/embryodonation .

This article was supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant EAAPA071007-02-02. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association provides timely, compassionate support and information to people who are experiencing infertility and to increase awareness of infertility issues through public education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.resolve.org .

�� RESOLVE��All Rights Reserved. This article was adapted and updated from ��Pointers for Parents To Be,�� November 2003 North American Precis Syndicate