Assisted Fertility Services offers embryo donation/adoption services for those who wish to explore that option. In the embryo adoption process, an infertile couple receives donated embryos (fertilized eggs) from a couple who have completed their families using in vitro fertilization (IVF). When couples undergo IVF, there are often leftover embryos that are frozen and stored for later use. In the past, frozen embryos have been discarded or donated to research. Women who choose embryo adoption as an answer to infertility will experience pregnancy, labor and delivery if the embryo transfer is successful.
“We are happy to be able to add embryo adoption to the list of advanced reproductive technologies offered in our program,” said Dr. Jeffrey Boldt, scientific director for Assisted Fertility Services at Community Health Network. “Our goal is to provide patients with a range of options to build their families.”
The adoption process is similar to that of the traditional adoption of children. There is an extensive screening of potential couples wanting to donate their embryos, including the medical, legal and social requirements of embryo donation. Recipient couples also undergo extensive screening.
Surveys estimate that only 9,000 of the 400,000 embryos currently in cryopreservation (freezing) in the U.S. are available for adoption to another couple. Since most of those embryos will likely not be transferred to the genetic mother, they are either stored for an indefinite period of time, or thawed and discarded. The pregnancy rate is approximately 40 percent per embryo transfer.