When it comes to adoption, most people think of adopting a fully grown child. What about adopting an embryo? Well, two US couples decided to go the embryo adoption way with one as the donor and the other as the recipient of the embryo.
Following successful IVF treatment, the Gassmans were left wondering what to do with their leftover embryos now that they were certain they were not going to be able to carry any more children. They looked at all the options they had from destroying the embryos and donating them to scientific research before finally settling down on given them up for adoption. For the Hendersons, having unsuccessfully undergone IVF treatment, they were looking for a way of getting a child without going the traditional adoption route. When their family doctor informed them that they could adopt an embryo, they quickly jumped on the idea and were eventually matched to the Gassmans. Both couples are happy with the decision they made. Both also have the opportunity to enjoy parenthood. They have even decided to remain in touch, and their children know each other.
What is Embryo Adoption?
Embryo adoption involves implanting a donated embryo into the uterus of a woman in the same way as the implantation process used in fertility treatments for biological parents. The process is much cheaper than in vitro fertilization with a donor egg. Embryo adoption costs nearly half the cost of traditional IVF treatment with a donor egg. However, in embryo adoption, once you donate your embryo for adoption, you cannot change your mind later and insist on keeping such as during traditional adoption. Once embryos are donated, they are viewed as commodities and no longer belong to the biological parents. Consequently, if you’re not sure you want to give away your embryo, you are better off not donating it in the first place.
Embryo donation programs report that their process is 10% more successful than traditional in vitro treatment. The variation between the two processes is that in embryo donation, open communication is allowed between the donors and the recipients. Therefore, both parties can get to know each other in advance before making their final decision on whether to go on with the process.