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Commonly Asked Questions...

The following questions are frequently asked about embryo donation and adoption. For specific information regarding the process of Embryo Donation or Embryo Adoption, please visit the respective pages on our site.

Why embryo donation and adoption?

Infertility often makes a couple feel lonely, empty and incomplete. When couples go through fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization, there is often an excess of fertilized eggs (embryos) that are frozen and stored for later use. When the genetic parents decide that their family is complete and embryos are still available, they are faced with a dilemma: donating their embryos to research, thawing them and letting them die, or donating them to a couple who is unable to conceive. Many believe that embryo donation and adoption is the most life-honoring solution to this difficult choice.

Is this really adoption?

In most states, adoption only refers to the placement of a child after birth. Therefore, instead of using adoption laws, legal agreements are used to govern the process of embryo donation. The recipient parents' relationship with the child is just as binding as a legal adoption.

What are the chances of a successful pregnancy?

According to the CDC, for embryo adoption the national average pregnancy rate is 43 percent and the national average live-birth rate is 35 percent. These statistics are from a database of all U.S. assisted reproductive technology clinics. The NEDC's overall pregnancy rate per transfer is 50% and its live-birth rate is 47%. Not all embryos survive the freeze/thaw process, and thawing on your embryos may not lead to a transfer. However, this may still offer the greatest hope for couples trying to achieve their dream of pregnancy and parenthood.

Can genetic parents change their minds and get custody of the child(ren)?

Under current law, once the embryos have been transferred, the genetic parents have no legal claim to any resultant children. The contract agreement and relinquishment forms are legally binding between the two families.

What are the costs?

In addition to the NEDC Fee Schedule, you may have additional costs for medications, travel, and coordination with your local physician. These costs will vary from couple to couple.

What is the first step?

We recommend that you learn as much as possible about embryo donation and adoption through our website. When you are ready to take the next step, call the National Embryo Donation Center toll free at 1-866-585-8549. If we are unavailable to speak with you at the time of your call, leave your contact information and we will call you back.