Donating Parents: Embryo Adoption

Many couples find themselves in a bit of dilemma in regards to what they should/can do with the frozen embryos they no longer need. There are options besides simply allowing the embryos to thaw and then die. These options vary from country to country and even in different parts of the same country. But they're options worth looking into.

Your choices

You have the right to release your frozen embryos to science for research. Scientists will conduct experiments on the embryos including embryonic stem cell research. Not everyone fits the qualification process. If this is of interest to you, ask your doctor about the process and any available programs.

Your options

Most clinics have policies and procedures regarding the disposal of remaining embryos. Some people may choose to have some sort of commemorating ceremony as the embryo is thawed if the clinic offers that option. Then the embryos are discarded. Another option offered by clinics is to have the embryos thawed and then transferred into the woman's uterus during a non-fertile time in her menstruation cycle.

Some clinics allow couples to keep their embryos frozen indefinitely. Scientists don't know how long a frozen embryo will remain viable, but there is documented proof that children have been born from frozen embryos that have been stored in a cryo bank for more than 12 years. If you choose to keep your embryos frozen, you will need to pay annual storage fees. Your clinic will probably move the embryos to a long term storage location off site.

Some places allow you to donate your unneeded embryos to an infertile couple. The process can be anonymous or you may choose the family who will receive your embryos.

Table of Contents
1. Embryo Adoption
2. Giving away embryos
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