We decided to look into those donated embryos our doctor was telling us about. We did some research and found half of the couples that complete IVF and have remaining embryos destroy them, 25% of the couples donate their embryos to science and the remaining 25% donate them to other couples.
With embryo adoption or donation, the basic jist is that you are adopting discarded, unwanted embryos and bringing them into your family! With embryo adoption, you actually get to be pregnant with your adopted child, and maybe even breastfeed!! It’s cheaper than BOTH IVF and infant adoption. The treatment is much easier than IVF since it’s just the last part of the cycle- preparing the uterus and transferring embryos.
Obviously, there’s always a chance it wouldn’t work. As of now, we’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, so if there’s a problem with implantation, even transferring embryos wouldn’t work.
(Side note- this option is termed embryo donation medically speaking, much like an egg donation. In the eyes of the law, an embryo is viewed as somewhere between property or an organ. As sad as this is, what this means is that there doesn’t need to be the expensive and drawn out process of a home study and there isn’t a chance a donor could change their mind afterwards, which can be a couple drawbacks of infant adoption. So those are actually some benefits for us! However, we view life beginning at fertilization so we see these embryos as children and I prefer to call the process embryo adoption.)
This option is a little bit out there… And I had to (and still have to!!) fight a lot of insecurity about everyone’s extreme reaction over how they’ve never heard of this and it’s “SO CRAZY!” But for us… It seems so good. My husband has always been extremely open and excited about adoption. He loves the picture it paints of the gospel of Jesus- taking those who are not in a family, unwanted and alone and drawing them into a forever family, giving them our name and covenanting our love on them forever. I am all for adoption, but there is something in my heart that yearns to be pregnant, longs to have our children grow inside of me and be there for that integral part of their life.
So this is our next step. Unfortunately though, if you remember above, only 25% of remaining embryos are donated. So although there are anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 frozen embryos right now, there aren’t many being donated. Thankfully our doctor’s office is one of the only offices in the area who does do this process. BUT there’s a long waiting list. We’ve been on it since January and we were originally quoted 12-18 months. I’m hopeful that it will be sooner than that, but as for now…
We wait. And we pray that God will protect our sweet little embryos and bring them to us quickly. We pray that he would sustain them and that they would grow into our children, that God would bless us richly and that He would be glorified in creating our family. Won’t you pray with us?