Embryo Adoptions

Written by Will Baum
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Embryo adoptions enable people who have been through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help give other couples the opportunity to become parents. At the end of the IVF process, there are generally several embryos left over in deep freeze. If these embryos are left alone, eventually they will die. There is another way to go.

Embryo adoptions allow couples who cannot conceive a child on their own a chance at pregnancy and parenthood. For many, adopting a newborn child means cutting out an important part of the parenthood experience. They view pregnancy not as a means to an end, but as a crucial part of becoming a parent.

Many women feel that the bond created between a mother and a fetus is an essential building block to the bond between a mother and her child. Adopting a newborn carried by another woman removes this component from parenting. The morning sickness, the doctor's visits, and delivery are all seen as positive, regardless of how frightening or painful.

How Embryo Adoptions Work

Within six days of being fertilized during IVF, embryos are frozen to -1960° Centigrade. The frozen embryos are a type of insurance in case the IVF process doesn't work the first time out (success rates sit at about 20 percent). Freezing and thawing can be rough on embryos, but 70 percent survive. After successful IVF, many couples are at a loss as to what to do with these "extra" embryos. Embryo adoptions are a choice that many find satisfying. As with any assisted reproduction procedure, these decisions are deeply personal and can be very difficult.

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