Donation

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Donation

You know the pain of not being able to have children. But you also know the joy of finally being able to conceive through IVF. Now that your family is complete, what happens to your remaining embryos? Consider donating them to another couple. Through donation, you’re bringing joy to another couple. Please be aware that, because we are always helping a very large number of donors, the donation process with the NEDC does take time: typically 6 to 9 months once we have all the information we need from you. But we will see the process through to completion, and our medical partners will take wonderful care of your embryos once they’re here. We give your embryos the best chance for life in a loving, stable family.

This is a way to give the opportunity for life. Plus, you’re sharing the blessing of children with others. You will have input in the family selection process. The National Embryo Donation Center is a non-profit organization that helps both embryo donors and recipients.

Start your application and help someone start a family today. There are no fees for donors!

Asking Questions

We’ve tried to include comprehensive information answering most of your questions about donating embryos in this section of our website. But we also realize you may have questions we haven’t answered. And sometimes it’s just helpful to reach out and connect with another voice to serve as a helpful guide. If you have further questions about donating your embryos, please reach out to us anytime! You may reach the NEDC’s donor coordinator at (865) 777-2013 x234 or NEDC.DonorNurse@baby4me.net.

You may also find the private Embryo Donors Group on Facebook to be a helpful source of information and support. You may find and request to join the group by going here

Why donate your Embryos to the NEDC

Many donate embryos through the NEDC mainly because we are a well-established organization with long-term success in providing safe storage for all embryos. We also have many years of experience in facilitating successful embryo adoptions with recipient couples who have met all criteria to be eligible to adopt embryos that were donated both openly and anonymously.

There are many other reasons to donate your embryos through the NEDC.

  • Experience matters! We are the largest embryo donation program in the country and have received and cared for over 2500 sets of frozen embryos. We have experienced embryologists who arrange for shipping and care after arrival. Our embryologists have over 45 years of combined experience in IVF. They can confidently handle the thawing of embryos frozen by a wide variety of protocols as we have received embryos from IVF centers all over the country.
  • Values matter! It’s all right there in our Mission and Value Statement:(https://www.embryodonation.org/about/). All of us here at the NEDC value the human lives which are your embryos. We treat them with the care and respect they deserve. We are dedicated to finding the best possible homes for the children through the donation of your embryos. Therefore, we have age, weight and health restrictions on our adopting couples, and we also require a home study of adopting couples so you can be certain your embryos are going to the best possible family.
  • Screening matters! We medically screen couples to ensure that your embryos will have a high likelihood of implanting and ultimately resulting in a live birth. This necessitates that we must exclude some couples who have social or medical conditions such as nicotine, drug, or alcohol addiction, a history of recurrent implantation failure with previous embryo transfers, or serious gynecologic conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, or adenomyosis.
  • Flexibility matters! We realize that not all couples are comfortable with all forms of embryo donation. Therefore, we offer the option of donating your embryos both anonymously and openly. Furthermore, open donation can be tailored to your individual needs and desires, with all degrees of information sharing possible, making you feel more comfortable with your decision. We have a dedicated Social Work group (Flourish Consulting, LLC) who reviews all home studies, and mediates Open Donation Agreements (ODAs). This allows for a seamless experience for you without having to resort to expensive attorneys or other intermediaries.
  • Cost matters! There are NO FEES to you for donating your embryos. And once we have received them from your clinic, you will no longer be liable for storage costs from them. Likewise, we do not charge you storage fees, nor do we charge you shipping fees for moving your embryos to the NEDC.
  • Success matters! We have outstanding staff, which has resulted in us being blessed with the highest embryo adoption pregnancy rates in the nation as well as the most births from embryo donation in the entire world. We have now facilitated over 1200 births in our 18-year history.

Donating your Embryos from A to Z

You can apply to donate your embryos to the NEDC by clicking on the option “Apply to Donate” on the bottom right portion of our website. This will take you to our donor database, where you will have the opportunity to complete the application to donate your embryos.

  • Once you have added your information to the database, click the “Submit” button. You should receive an email confirming successful submission of your application along with an attached packet for you to complete. This packet contains consent forms which must be signed and notarized.
  • Once we receive your completed packet, we will request medical records from the fertility clinic where your embryos were created.
  • Upon receipt and review of your medical records, you will then receive orders for infectious disease lab testing. This lab work must be completed so we can reassure potential recipients about the safety of accepting your embryos.
  • When we receive your lab results, your Embryo Donor Profile will be submitted for final review to our medical director.
  • Once your profile receives a signature of final approval, we will then arrange for the shipment of your embryos to our embryology lab. We will cover all lab charges and any embryo shipping and handling charges.

What to Expect after donating your Embryos

OVERVIEW: It may take several months or several years to find a recipient couple for your embryos. We have streamlined the process for recipients by allowing them to choose certain characteristics in potential donors by using filters in our donor database. Therefore, depending on your unique profile, it may take a lesser or longer amount of time to match.

When your embryos are matched, you will be notified if you are an open donor.

In the case of closed/ anonymous donation, you will receive no further information from us. If you do wish to be notified about the birth of a child from your embryos, with no identifying information given, please let us know and we will attempt to notify you. You are always welcome to call or email to check on the status of the embryos you have donated.

If you become aware of any medical or genetic conditions in you or your children after donation, we request that you notify Flourish Consulting (for open donors) or us so that we can inform the recipient couple. This will of course be done in an anonymous manner for closed embryo donations.

ANONYMOUS DONATION: Once you complete the donation process, we will begin sharing your profile to couples as they become eligible to adopt embryos. You are welcome to contact us at any time and inquire about your embryos. We can reveal if your embryos have been adopted, if there was a birth, and the gender of the baby (or babies). No identifying factors (name, place of birth, etc.) will be revealed.

One thing that really helps our adoptive couples make their decision when viewing donor profiles is seeing pictures of a baby or child that would be a genetic sibling to the embryos that were donated and/or pictures of the parents of the embryos. All pictures that are added to a profile are kept secure and are only viewed by potential adoptive couples, who are given a passcode. You can send pictures by either email or mail if you would like those added to your profile.

If you decide the NEDC is the right fit for your embryo donation, please know we will do everything possible to give your embryos a chance at life.

OPEN DONATION: Once you have completed the donation process, we will then begin sharing your profile with recipient couples. Once a potential adoptive couple chooses your profile, we will then reach out to you via email with the prospective adoptive couple’s profile information, letter, and photo. At that time, you can choose to accept or decline this couple. If you choose to accept the recipient couple, your profile will then be sent to one of our social workers at Flourish Consulting Services, LLC. All final terms for the embryo adoption will be mediated and set by our social worker.

We have witnessed many precious relationships develop and many beautiful stories unfold among our donor and recipient couples. We are happy you chose us to be part of your journey to share this gift of hope and life with other couples. We understand that this process can be emotional and challenging for our donor couples. We are here to help guide you and support you through the matching and mediation process. Again, we are aware that not all donor and recipient couples are compatible with each other. Rest assured you will have the option to accept or decline a recipient couples’ request to adopt your embryo(s). We never want a donor couple to feel pressure during the matching and mediation process. We want you to feel supported and have the opportunity to choose a couple with whom you are comfortable sharing this gift. We know many donor couples have experienced a long and sometimes difficult infertility journey. You have now chosen to share hope and life with recipient couples. Keep in mind that many of our recipient couples have also experienced a long, difficult road to reach this point in their journey. This sometimes includes many disappointments and loss. It can be disheartening to recipient couples when we advise them that a donor couple has declined their request to adopt their embryos. Therefore, we try to give our donor couples plenty of opportunity to communicate any questions, concerns, or specific information that would be helpful in our efforts to match you with prospective adoptive couples. Some couples have strong values, beliefs, and opinions that could potentially affect their decision to accept or decline a recipient couple. A willingness to share this information is helpful to us as we work to match donor and recipient couples that are most compatible with each other. This information could also be helpful in our efforts to help prevent recipient couples from experiencing any unnecessary disappointments and/or feelings of rejection. We ultimately want both couples to have a positive experience during this process.

We also want to take this time to remind you that all NEDC Embryo Profiles must remain active and available for adoption. Our mission is to provide all embryos donated a chance at life. Unfortunately, we have had a few cases in which donor couples have chosen open donation and then proceeded with actions that made it difficult to consider their embryo profile as active and available for adoption. We would like to provide you with a few suggestions as we move forward in this process:

  • We will contact you by email and/or phone when a recipient couple chooses your profile. Please remember to inform us of any changes in your contact information (address, email, phone number, etc.). We will give you ample time to review and discuss the recipient couple’s information. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about any of the information that we provide to you. All NEDC recipient couples must meet all of our program requirements. All are thoroughly screened and must pass a legal home study. If you ultimately decide to decline the recipient couple, it is helpful if you can provide us any feedback or if there was a specific reason that led to your decision to decline the couple.
  • As stated in your signed consent to donate embryos, if you are matched with and decline (5) FIVE proposed recipient couples without feedback, you will be charged $500 per year for storage fees, subject to change. If this were to occur, we would also encourage you to consider making alternate storage arrangements for your embryos.

Communication of Information with donor conceived children and realities of DNA testing opportunities

We encourage all Donor Families and Recipient Families to be open and honest with their children regarding their birth stories. There are many books and websites available to help guide you through this journey.

Legal Information

While embryo donation has a fairly uniform and specific legal definition, as is outlined in your consent forms, embryo adoption does not. In fact, embryo adoption is not a legal ‘adoption’ at all, at least in the sense of a traditional adoption which occurs after birth. However, the term allows all parties to conceptualize the process and eventual reality of raising a non-genetically related child.

Several states have codified (put into their state laws) embryo adoption as a specific entity, separate and distinct from traditional adoption. Please contact your state representative or senator to find out if this is true for your state. If not, consider advocating for such legislation.

However, despite the relative paucity of laws concerning donating and receiving/adopting embryos, there have been few significant legal contests which have ensued. To our knowledge, as of the writing of this document, there have been no cases where an embryo adoptive birth mother/couple has had to relinquish her/their child to the genetic parent(s). Similarly, we know of no cases where a child born as a result of embryo donation/adoption has successfully made a claim to any assets or interests of the donor couple.

We agree with the recommendations of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that all couples considering donation of their embryos undergo psychological counseling as well as counseling with an adoption specialist. However, we do not require these things in order for you to donate your embryos.

Our legal contracts have been written by an attorney with years of experience in this field, but we cannot guarantee that there will be no issues that arise in the future as a result of the donation of your embryos. You are welcome to have an attorney review or re-write this contract.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I donate embryos, what is the likelihood they will be adopted?

Is there a cost to donate embryos?

If I change my mind, can I get my embryos back?

Who can adopt?

Could the children from the embryo donation inadvertently meet their siblings and reproduce?

What will happen to my embryos if I choose not to donate them?

Do you accept all embryos?

Important! Is Anonymity really Possible?

It is important to know that the concept of anonymity is rapidly fading in our culture, and there is no longer a guarantee that your embryo donation will remain anonymous forever. While the NEDC as an organization will protect your privacy and not disclose your contact information, it is vital to understand that the rapidly advancing technologies regarding DNA testing and ancestry websites have given unprecedented access to individuals born via reproductive technologies including sperm, egg, or embryo donation. Websites such as www.ancestry.com or www.donorsiblingregistry.com are becoming widely used by children and adults born of donor conception. Social media or a simple Google search gives access to finding the identities of individuals even with just their basic information. So, consider that the information you share on your donor profile could be used for a child to search later in life. The NEDC can no longer guarantee that your embryo adoption will remain ‘closed’ as a child born of your embryo donation may search online, and the future medical or technological advances will make it easier for someone to identify a donor.

For this reason, more donors are choosing various levels of open adoption. Donors can choose from a very open contact plan, in which all parties have visits and talk often, to a semi-open adoption where you only share a private non-identifying email to provide medical or genetic updates. Donors can also elect to use a 3rd party mediator service that provides updates to the recipient couple, but they do not share their direct contact information. This provides an avenue of communication for the purposes of medical or genetic updates and allows a child the ability to have a means of contact in the event they express a desire for more information in the future. This minimal sharing of contact also limits a child’s desire to search and ‘surprise’ a donor later in life without their prior knowledge. Donors can be more prepared but also can have some privacy maintained.

Donation Resources

We know you probably have a lot of questions about the embryo donation process. We’ve compiled some helpful resources here for your benefit but, if you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 866-585-8549.

Apply for Adoption

We understand your desire to complete your family, and embryo adoption allows you an adoption alternative to the experience of pregnancy and childbirth.

Get Started

Apply for Donation

This is your chance to give life and hope to another family! Thank you for valuing these precious lives. Begin filling out the NEDC application to donate embryos.

Get Started

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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