Couples who have fertility issues have options when it comes to starting a family. If the woman has issues with her eggs or ovaries, there are two options: egg donation and embryo adoption. Read on to learn more about these processes!
A Brief Summary
With In-vitro fertilization (IVF), embryos can be cryogenically frozen for preservation. This can cause a dilemma. What do the parents do with the embryos after they’re done building their family?
Extra, unused embryos can be donated to scientific research. They can be saved for future use (recently in the United States, a healthy child was born from an embryo that had been frozen for 20 years!), or they can be donated or put up for adoption.
Many couples choose the latter, because they feel these are children and they can make another childless family happy. The frozen embryos are thawed and implanted into the female partner, and they continue the growth process right where they left off before they were frozen.
With egg donation, a female egg donor and a couple are matched together by the fertility clinic. After undergoing hormone injections, the donor’s eggs are harvested.
The healthy eggs are fertilized by the male partner’s sperm, and then healthy embryo(s) are implanted into the female partner.
For more information on In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), check out one of my other fertility blogs HERE.
Egg Donation Vs. Embryo Adoption
According to THIS website,
“Egg donation and embryo adoption have both resulted in healthy pregnancies for thousands of couples across the United States. While egg donation is a better-known option, embryo adoption may just be the solution that some families struggling with infertility are seeking.”
So, what is the difference? Continue reading to find out!
The process between seeking donor eggs through implantation can take over 6 months. This includes time for fertility treatments, locating a donor, getting yours and the donor’s cycles synced, and harvesting the eggs.
With egg donation, you may or may not have a full medical history and information about the donor. Just like with adoptions, there can be open, semi-open, or anonymous donations.
Another factor to consider with egg donation is the risk of tension in your relationship over the resulting child, as only the father would be genetically related to the child.
It can be rather expensive. In fact, egg donation can cost up to $24,000 for one pregnancy attempt. There are no guarantees of pregnancy. Success rates vary depending on many different factors.
HERE is one woman’s story of donating her eggs, if you’re interested in her perspective!
An embryo adoption is similar to a regular, old-fashioned adoption. Except instead of an already-grown child, you’re getting an embryo that the female partner grows in her womb.
When a couple decides to undergo IVF to build their family, they will sometimes have embryos left over when they’re done. As I mentioned before, there are options for these embryos. Many couples choose to give their embryos up for adoption.
If you decide to go with embryo adoption, it can cost around $14,000 per pregnancy attempt. Success rates are around 45%. The great thing about embryo adoption is that you will be relieving the natural parents of any guilt they may have had about leaving their remaining embryos.
The process takes 5 months or longer. Additionally, you will have to go through a home inspection, background checks, and legal paperwork. You will be matched with the donating family.
With embryo adoption, you will know more about the donor family’s medical history. They may even want to make it an open adoption, where you give them updates about the child/children.
THIS website has a wealth of information if you’d like to read more.
Pros and Cons
As you can see, there are pros and cons of each path. Whichever you choose, there is a chance that you could have the family you want. You just need to decide what sounds better to you.
For the female partner, would you rather have a child that is only genetically related to your partner, or one that is not genetically related to either of you? You will carry both of them in your womb. I guess the real question is, does it matter to you?
According to my research, there are about 500,000-600,000 “extra” frozen embryos out there in storage in the United States alone. It is not that difficult to find a match.
There are many egg donors as well if you choose the egg donation route. No one is judging you, however you decide to have your family. Good luck on your journey!
Something to Try…
If you’re not ready for IVF, egg donation, or embryo adoption quite yet, try Bioterra Herbs’ Herbal Female and Male Fertility supplements. They work in harmony with the male and female bodies to get the reproductive systems back on track and help some fertility issues.