I’ve had several questions about timing and the process of Embryo Adoption. So, I wanted to go into more detail on the steps and timeline. But before I do, I want to clearly state, I am not an Embryo Adoption adoption expert. We are still fairly early in the process and I would never claim to have all the answers. We are researching and figuring it out as we go. My desire is simply to share as we are learning.
Our initial application through the National Embryo Donation Center, which we submitted in January, was an online form. We answered a variety of different questions. Most were basic informational questions, while others asked about our family, personalities, community, church life and more. We had fun describing each other’s personality traits and sharing about our family and friends. The final section was a bit more difficult. They asked us to write a letter to our potential donor family. As you can imagine this took some time and a lot of thought. We wanted the words to be sincere, thoughtful and intentional. Once we completed the letter, we submitted the application and application fee.
Next, we received confirmation that our application was accepted and began follow up paperwork. We also both had to have some blood work done, specifically HIV testing. We actually turned this into a date believe it or not, nothing saying romance like getting blood drawn! Here we are below enjoying our quality time at the hospital 🙂
We also began our home study application, which meant more paperwork. We are using the Lutheran Family and Children Services of Missouri to complete this portion of the process. Our home study application was accepted and we are now in process of gathering all the legal documents needed. We will also have our first interview this coming week! Not all Embryo Adoption programs require a home study, however I’m glad ours does. Yes, it’s more work, but I believe going through the process honors the life our future child. It also helps give peace of mind to the donor family.
Our next steps included the following:
-Initial visit to the NEDC in Knoxville, TN in March – During this visit, the physicians will go over my medical history, we will meet the NEDC team and go over the process, additionally a “trial transfer” will be done to make sure there are no physical barriers which may impede the actual transfer or pregnancy.
-Complete the home study -more paperwork, as well as personal interviews and a home evaluation.
-After our initial visit and home study are complete, we will be given donor profiles to view and will be able to choose our embryos – SO EXCITING!!
-Legally have the embryos transfer to our names
-Return to Knoxville for the actual transfer (ideally we’d like to go over the summer, I know it might not fit into my perfect teacher timeline, but that’s my hope).
Typically, this process takes roughly 6 months total.
You may be wondering why I’ve said “embryos”. We will mostly likely adopt more than one embryo. One reason for this is there is a risk the embryos may not survive the thaw (75% do survive the thawing process). We will also most likely transfer more than one embryo at a time to increase the chances of a successful implantation.
“According to the latest statistics from the CDC, the national average pregnancy rate for embryo adoption is 50 percent and the national average birth rate is 40 percent. These statistics are from a database of all U.S. assisted reproductive technology clinics. The NEDC’s overall pregnancy rate per transfer is 55 percent and live-birth rate is 45 percent.” -National Embryo Donation Center
-Will we get the choose the gender? No, although some embryos have undergone preimplantation genetic testing, for practical and ethical reasons, the NEDC does not share the information with recipients.
-What if we don’t get pregnant? If the transfer is not successful the first time, we can try 2 more times with the National Embryo Donation Center. As heartbreaking as it would be not to get pregnant, we see each transfer as giving the embryo a chance to leave their frozen state and have life.
-Is it expensive? This is tricky to answer. Embryo Adoption is roughly $10,000.00 through the NEDC. So yes, $10 Grand its a lot of money to us. However, when you compare this to the cost of traditional domestic infant adoption, which averages around $30,000-$40,000.00, it’s definitely more affordable.
I think that is all for now. But if you have additional questions, just ask. I’m happy to answer them, or at least try my best!
If you’d like more details, please visit the following websites. This is where the bulk of my information and research has come from.