About the NEDC

The Leading Comprehensive Non-Profit Embryo Donation Program

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NEDC BABY COUNTER

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About Us

Since 2003, the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) has been the country’s leading comprehensive non-profit embryo donation program.

Our Mission

Our mission is to protect the lives and dignity of human embryos. We do that by promoting, facilitating and educating about embryo donation and adoption (ED/EA). We’re also the only clinic-based organization that works with families of all races, faiths and ethnic backgrounds. Our office is in Knoxville, TN.

Our Vision

To share the love of Christ through the life-affirming process of embryo adoption while striving to place every donated embryo into a loving home. We will be a beacon in the darkness showing the love and respect due to these cryopreserved human embryos since they represent the very least of us. We look forward to the day when the responsible practice of reproductive medicine will render our services unnecessary.

What Led to the NEDC's Formation

So why are we here? When couples go through in vitro fertilization (IVF), there are often remaining embryos. Those are frozen and stored for later use. An estimated 1,000,000 human embryos are stored in the U.S. right now.

When couples decide that their family is complete but still have embryos remaining, there are a few options. They can donate the embryos to research or let them thaw, losing any potential for them to develop into children. Couples can keep them frozen. Or they can donate them to a couple who is unable to conceive. A lot of people share our belief that embryo donation is the life-honoring solution.

How We Live Out the Mission & Vision

The NEDC provides for all the medical, legal and social aspects of ED/EA. When someone donates embryos to us, we become the interim caregiver and our medical partners at Southeastern Fertility store them at no charge to donors.

From there, our team works hard to match the right embryos with the perfect family. You can choose from a huge number of available embryos with no waiting list! We also offer varying communication options between donating and receiving families. Those range from closed to a fully open relationship. Mediation is available for open relationships.

Thanks for visiting. We invite you to explore the website. Maybe the NEDC is the right choice for you!

Our History

Our Families

Though the vast majority of our families have historically lived in North America, the NEDC serves and is open to families from all over the world.

Multiracial Embryos

The NEDC has a significant number of multi-racial embryos available. No matter your background, the NEDC can help you complete your family.

Our Embryos

Embryos of all ethnicities have been donated to the NEDC.

Our Staff

Jeffrey Keenan, M.D., HCLD

President/Medical Director

John Gordon, M.D.

NEDC Physician, Southeastern Fertility Co-Director

Sarah Coe Atkinson, M.SC

Lab Supervisor/ Embryologist

Mark Mellinger

Marketing and Development Director

Christa Carter, RN

Patient Coordinator

Kelley Seymour, RN

Program Coordinator

Desiree Melendez

Financial Manager

History of the NEDC

The first in vitro fertilization (IVF) or “test tube” baby, Louise Brown, was born in England in 1978 and the first IVF baby in the United States, Elizabeth Carr, was born in 1981. Since that time, the fertility industry has grown enormously and because of that, the number of remaining frozen embryos has significantly increased.

As laboratory technology and techniques improved, the ability to safely freeze and thaw embryos opened the possibilities for families to make additional attempts at becoming pregnant without having to repeat the egg retrieval process. It also allowed them to return for a sibling when they were ready to try again.

While no one truly knows when the first embryo donation occurred, they were usually performed in fertility clinics where the physician facilitated anonymous transfers between patients. In 1997, Nightlight Christian Adoptions expanded its services to include embryo adoption and began to educate the public regarding this option for infertile couples.

In the late 1990’s, the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) approached Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, a Knoxville, Tennessee, Reproductive Endocrinologist, with the idea of creating a medically-based non-profit embryo donation center. The center would accept all embryos regardless of number or grade and have its partner medical clinic store them on-site. The center would also actively match willing recipients with donors and then facilitate the clinic’s performance of the actual transfers.

Originally part of the Baptist Health System in Knoxville, the new organization began assembling its grassroots staff and formulating the processes, parameters, and protocols needed to create the most beneficial program for both donors and recipients.

By 2003, the NEDC had received several sets of donated embryos from fertility clinics around the country and began to match them with hopeful families. In addition, the NEDC pursued and received federal grant funding to educate the public and create awareness of the embryo donation and adoption process.

By 2010, the NEDC had significantly increased its transfer/success rate, continued to receive grant funding, and moved to a permanent, independent location.

Since its inception, the NEDC has assisted in over 1,100 births. It has become the premier center for ED/EA services and has been featured in multiple national media stories. The most important story, though, is the one that we can help write for you. We look forward to helping you complete your fertility journey.

While the NEDC is open to couples of all races, religions, creeds, and backgrounds, our own Christian faith is the overriding principle upon which we operate. As an organization guided by our religious faith and protected by the Constitution of the United States, the NEDC firmly believes in the sanctity of life beginning at conception and recognizes marriage as a sacred union between man and woman as defined by the Scriptures of the Holy Bible.

National Embryo Donation Center
11126 Kingston Pike Knoxville
TN 37934

Phone: 866-585-8549
Fax: 866-585-8549
Toll-Free: 866-585-8549

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