Considering Embryo Donation


#1

After about a year and a half since our last round of TTC (history in siggie) today my clinic sends out their monthly email and in it is an article about embryo donation. They are apparently in the works to begin offering this service.

DH and I are interested based on what little we have been able to learn by scouring the web today. Back when we were still trying, our RE thought IVF with PGD was our best option. If he still thinks I’m a good candidate to carry a pregnancy, I like the idea of embryo donation even better. Obviously it will cost less. We have been recently seriously considering becoming foster parents in the hopes of being able to to adopt another child, younger than our daughter, in order to complete our family.

I have read about embryo adoption but was a little turned off at the idea of going through all the hoops, homestudies, etc just to get embryos, which I realize might not even stick and become a viable pregnancy. Embryo donation, not requiring all those steps, feels like a much nicer option for us.

So I’m considering contacting our clinic and inquiring about this. What kind of things should I be asking? I want to let them know we are interested, and certainly if there is any kind of waiting list we want to make sure to be put on it as soon as possible. Hoping people here can offer some help and insight based on prior experiences.


#2

Well, I am a huge fan of Embryo Adoption/Donation. I think its a great way for people like myself whom have issues with both partners to be able to get pregnant. My eggs are crappy, his sperm sucks, but my uterus is apparently as healthy as it can get!! ( hence my being preggos with twins)
I would ask your clinic the following questions…

  • how long do they anticipate it taking to get the program set up and running. (some clinics take forever to get things rolling on Embryo donation programs because you have to have embryos that are legally available for donation and get all the kinks worked out first)
  • How long is the waiting list???
  • What is the Estimated Cost and what does this cost INCLUDE and NOT INCLUDE??
  • Does it matter if you have Biological children??
    ( I have ran into many programs that exclude you for having bio children)
  • Does your Age matter??
  • Is the program completely annonymous or can you get contact info for the Embryo’s genetic parents?
  • even though its a new program, and they wont have success rates available, you can at least ask what their FET success rates are and that will give you some idea as to how good their lab is.
    *If you decide to pass on a set of embryos, does your name stay at the top of the list?

That is all i can think of currently- but I would get on the list ASAP! Depending on where you are in the country, there can be 2yr waiting lists, or there are some clinics with NO waiting lists or VERY short lists.
Good luck to you and I hope that you are able to get some more info on their program.

And like you, cost was also a big factor for us. We couldve spend years and tens of thousands of dollars on more IVF cycles, but we seriously didnt have the money, and really just wanted more children, whether they were “BIO” or not didnt matter one bit.
And we now have an 11yr old DS, a 2yr old adopted DS and B/G twins from Embryo Donation that are on their way in a few weeks…
Good luck to you!


#3

Thank you Rach! The clinic we are with is the biggest and has the best IVF rates in the area. Obviously this is going to be slightly different, but they are a very successful and busy clinic. I can just imagine there are lots of other couples like us that may have received that email today and be thinking this sounds good to them too.


#4

Well, Yes & No- there arent as many people open to Donated embryos as you would think (at least I have found this to be true) but anyways, yes, you should probably make it a point to call tommorow and get on “the list” asap so you are hopefully near the top and dont have a long time to wait- Good luck


#5

[QUOTE=rd200]Well, Yes & No- there arent as many people open to Donated embryos as you would think (at least I have found this to be true) but anyways, yes, you should probably make it a point to call tommorow and get on “the list” asap so you are hopefully near the top and dont have a long time to wait- Good luck[/QUOTE]

I know when we first visited the RE and he suggested IVF with donor eggs, we weren’t open to the idea. That was about 2 1/2 years and several losses ago. It wasn’t until recently we discussed adoption options. And we both feel strongly about having a baby instead of an older child, because we have a daughter already.

This is an interesting sort of hybrid situation. It’s adoption because the child isn’t biologically yours, but you still have to go through the pregnancy and give birth, like with a biological child. I would think more couples wanting babies would opt for it because it’s still cheaper than domestic adoption.

It feels like the type of situation we’ve been waiting for. Hopefully this will be our answer.


#6

Actually, when you get pregnant, the Baby is considered your Biological child because you are carrying the child. While the child is not GENETICLY yours, he/she is still considered your Biological child. Also, there are very fascinating articles about Epi-Genetics. Im sure if you did a google search you would find some good info on it.

Yes, domestic adoption CAN be very expensive, but our failed IVF cycle was actually MORE than our Successful Domestic Adoption believe it or not!!! Its kinda like Fertility clinics, there are expensive ones and not expensive ones. But in all reality, IF treatments arent a guarantee of anything, and while neither is adoption, you got a heck of a lot better chances with Adoption bringing you your Forever child!! JMO…of course…


#7

[QUOTE=rd200]Actually, when you get pregnant, the Baby is considered your Biological child because you are carrying the child. While the child is not GENETICLY yours, he/she is still considered your Biological child. Also, there are very fascinating articles about Epi-Genetics. Im sure if you did a google search you would find some good info on it.

Yes, domestic adoption CAN be very expensive, but our failed IVF cycle was actually MORE than our Successful Domestic Adoption believe it or not!!! Its kinda like Fertility clinics, there are expensive ones and not expensive ones. But in all reality, IF treatments arent a guarantee of anything, and while neither is adoption, you got a heck of a lot better chances with Adoption bringing you your Forever child!! JMO…of course…[/QUOTE]

I need to look more into the genetics and things of that nature. DH is very interested in this and has requested some articles he can read. I read something on another thread about the baby sharing DNA with the mother through the placenta so they have bio ties even though the baby did not start off with any genetic link. Very interesting stuff that I will be doing my best to soak up in the near future.

I would have loved to adopt, domestically or internationally, if it wasn’t so ridiculously expensive. And the reason we haven’t done IVF yet was purely financial.

Fingers crossed, DH has two possible job promotions/raises on the horizon, if one of them goes through I get to stay at home (I currently work from home but would be able to quit my job) and it would certainly be nice to go through all of this while not worrying about a work schedule as well.


#8

Yes, you are correct, your DNA and the babies does mix thru the placenta. Not sure how, as im TOTALLY not a doctor or geneticis, but I have heard that also. If i come across any good articles- Ill will let you know.

I know what you mean, fortunetly my Mother in law borrowed us the money for our adoption because we had just spent our life savings ($18K) on our failed IVF and i thought we were just done all together. And then she offered to loan us the money. Thank goodness for the Adoption Tax credit also. I cant remember exactly, but I think we got back $12,000 over 2 years of taxes. Because you cant claim your expenses until you actually adopt. So since it took us 2 yrs to adopt, we couldnt claim expenses for 2+ years even though we had to come up with the money upfront for the adoption.
So, all in all our total out of pocket was about $5K for our adoption. So as soon as we got that money back from taxes we paid off my MIL.
Then for this… I basically worked my A** off for a year putting in extra hours and living as cheaply as possible and came up with the $6K we needed to go ahead and do it. And thank the lord it worked, cuz it was really a one shot deal. If it didnt work the first time, we possibly wouldve just called it quits as much as that wouldve crushed me.

Anyways, I hope your husband gets those oppurtunities and you can afford to pursue your dream of another baby!!


#9

I would definitely get on their list. Also, would you mind sharing your clinic name? Thanks! :slight_smile:


#10

[QUOTE=rd200]Yes, you are correct, your DNA and the babies does mix thru the placenta. Not sure how, as im TOTALLY not a doctor or geneticis, but I have heard that also. If i come across any good articles- Ill will let you know.

I know what you mean, fortunetly my Mother in law borrowed us the money for our adoption because we had just spent our life savings ($18K) on our failed IVF and i thought we were just done all together. And then she offered to loan us the money. Thank goodness for the Adoption Tax credit also. I cant remember exactly, but I think we got back $12,000 over 2 years of taxes. Because you cant claim your expenses until you actually adopt. So since it took us 2 yrs to adopt, we couldnt claim expenses for 2+ years even though we had to come up with the money upfront for the adoption.
So, all in all our total out of pocket was about $5K for our adoption. So as soon as we got that money back from taxes we paid off my MIL.
Then for this… I basically worked my A** off for a year putting in extra hours and living as cheaply as possible and came up with the $6K we needed to go ahead and do it. And thank the lord it worked, cuz it was really a one shot deal. If it didnt work the first time, we possibly wouldve just called it quits as much as that wouldve crushed me.

Anyways, I hope your husband gets those oppurtunities and you can afford to pursue your dream of another baby!![/QUOTE]

That’s wonderful you have family that was able to help. I hear that all the time when it comes to fertility treatments. “Don’t rule out borrowing money from family.” In our family, we have the most money, so that’s not really going to work. We just have my mom, who recently retired, and my SIL, who just finished seminary, so neither of them have any money. And we have two grown nephews, and although they do alright, it’s not like they’re rolling in dough. We’re fortunate DH has a good job he’s been at for years, but we’ve had some financial bumps in the road so that we don’t have that kind of cash at our disposal.

I’m so excited about your twins! I know a lot of us who go through fertility treatments dream of twins, and I wanted 3 kids so getting twins would be the icing on the cake. So much work, but so worth it. At least that’s what I’ve heard from other moms of multiples.


#11

[QUOTE=ela238]I would definitely get on their list. Also, would you mind sharing your clinic name? Thanks! :)[/QUOTE]

I called and left a message with the clinical staff because I couldn’t get through to anyone. I thought about emailing the girl who used to be my nurse, but it’s been about a year and a half and she is no longer listed on their website as being with them, so I figured it would just bounce.

I’ll be happy to share the clinic name and information as soon as they actually get back to me so we have an idea where they are at with this program.


#12

Just thought I’d say the clinic didn’t call. Maybe they were closed for President’s Day, but you would think their message would have indicated that.

Fingers crossed someone will call tomorrow.


#13

Some clinics are really not in a hurry to get back to you, or won’t unless you keep on them. My current clinic is like that. I have to keep track of how long ago I last left a message, follow up with email, and call back again before I get through to my coordinating nurse. She’s real nice, but I guess too busy to treat me like her only patient!

Anyway, some things I would ask deal with the selection process, protocol, and day of transfer. Who chooses the embryos - you or them? (One clinic I contacted requires our photos, and they try to match the donor photos to the recipient photos in their selection process. Our current clinic sent us a list of profiles, and we chose who we felt drawn to, regardless if we will look alike or not, since we thought there were more important considerations than that.)

Do you have an option of what meds to be on for your FET? My first two EA FETs were natural cycle unmedicated (except for Crinone). I had four monitoring appointments of sonos and b/w. My upcoming cycle will be with Vivelle patches and Crinone, with only one monitoring apt on cd13.

Day of, I loved our first two experiences, and was very disappointed to find out that it would be so different this time. The first two transfers, DH was with me, we saw the embies on a TV screen when they were under microscope, and we were allowed to take photos and video. This time, no pics of the embies even available, and DH is not allowed in with me.

Our match on MW took a month from signing up to the donors choosing us. Our match with our current clinic took a month from time of first phone consult to receiving the profiles and reserving our favorite batch. I cannot imagine being on a waiting list!

Also, we traveled before and will travel this time for the transfers, all out of state. This is cheaper than going with a local clinic for us.

Best of luck!


#14

So I broke down and emailed the director of their clinical staff. My nurse doesn’t appear to be with the clinic anymore so it seemed pointless to write to her. I let her know we are extremely interested and that I had called and hadn’t heard back from anyone yet.

Just hoping someone will get back to me, even if it’s to say they don’t have a lot of info yet, but will note our interest, or that they are compiling a list of interested patients. Something.


#15

Ladies-

anilorak13ska- I’ve followed your story and I’m thrilled that you have embies to transfer! My husband and I are starting to get serious about going this route. We would want to go through a clinic because of price. (plus, several other places have rejected us because we do have children). Would you mind sharing your clinics?


#16

Well I just heard back from my clinic and they are literally in the beginning stages. They are working with the couples who are donating their embryos, which will be the ones to start the program going. She said once it’s all done the clinic will own the embryos and there will be a place on their website to view the profiles of donor couples so we can choose our embryos.

However, it could be close to a year before anything could happen. She says once they have the legal rights to the embryos they have to wait 3 months to do anything with them.


#17

[quote=Malenkaya]Well I just heard back from my clinic and they are literally in the beginning stages. They are working with the couples who are donating their embryos, which will be the ones to start the program going. She said once it’s all done the clinic will own the embryos and there will be a place on their website to view the profiles of donor couples so we can choose our embryos.

However, it could be close to a year before anything could happen. She says once they have the legal rights to the embryos they have to wait 3 months to do anything with them.[/quote]

This is the “Norm” im afraid. It does take a while to do the steps involved with donating couples and receiving couples. THere needs to be donated embryos first before a program can be started.
A year seems like a long time to wait, but if you need time to save up some money, etc, then maybe it would be a good fit for you!


#18

[QUOTE=rd200]This is the “Norm” im afraid. It does take a while to do the steps involved with donating couples and receiving couples. THere needs to be donated embryos first before a program can be started.
A year seems like a long time to wait, but if you need time to save up some money, etc, then maybe it would be a good fit for you![/QUOTE]

Since the success rates are based on the age of the woman the egg comes from and not so much the woman who will carry the child, I’m okay with waiting. For regular IVF using our eggs, we would probably be beyond our years now, even if we had no fertility issues.

The fact that my husband may be getting a new and better paying job soon and that our daughter is starting school in the fall makes me think that waiting 9 months to a year before starting this journey makes sense too. Like a lot of people I started 2013 saying I am going to lose weight. I have gained 40 pounds since our daughter was born and the during the infertility that followed. This gives me yet another reason to strive to lose that weight and be healthier to prepare my body for this process as well. I’m generally not good with waiting but at the same time it kind of feels like this all fits well into our lives.

The idea is that we have this available to us as an option when the clinic is ready to start their program. We are officially on their list and I will bug the girl I spoke to today about once a month to keep updated on where they are. And to make sure we don’t get lost in the shuffle somehow.


#19

[quote=aidan’smom]Ladies-

anilorak13ska- I’ve followed your story and I’m thrilled that you have embies to transfer! My husband and I are starting to get serious about going this route. We would want to go through a clinic because of price. (plus, several other places have rejected us because we do have children). Would you mind sharing your clinics?[/quote]

Some I know of off the top of my head:

[B]F.I.R.M[/B].- Florida ( I have heard good things about them)
[B]COOPER [/B]- in New Jersey I believe??
[B]FERTILITY & SURGICAL ASSOCIATES [/B] in CA-
[B]NEDC[/B]- Largest pool of donated embryos, but if you have BIO children…good luck :rolleyes: I cant remember their “rules” for people with bio kids, but they werent very “accomodating” so to speak…
[B]UTAH & IDAHO CENTERS FOR REPRO. MEDICINE[/B]- different clinics, but owned by the same people I believe. I could hardly get calls back from them and they werent very friendly.
[B]C.A.R.E. - [/B]Texas
[B]REPROFIT-[/B] Czech Republic- ( Im totally bias towards them because they gave me my 2 little blessings )

Thats all I can think of off the top of my head right now…


#20

[B]We are officially on their list and I will bug the girl I spoke to today about once a month to keep updated on where they are. And to make sure we don’t get lost in the shuffle somehow[/B].

Good idea! Do make sure to call once and a while just to see if they are making progress and when they expect to have things up and running. Sounds like a good plan you have!