Types of donor embryo routes


We are prepping for FET #2 with donor embryos, but having lost our first two adopted embies to a chemical pregnancy, I am brainstorming backup plans in case their sibs also don’t make it.

Having come so close to our dream, we decided that we had to pursue a route that allowed me to be pregnant. (Previously we pursued traditional adoption and had this as our backup if these donor embies didn’t take.) While I have considered and reconsidered donor sperm, I get a nauseous feeling thinking of going that route, so we will stick with donor embryos one way or another.

However, I was hoping for some feedback from people who have gone the different donor embryo routes.

  1. Going with one of the big embryo adoption agencies, where many clinics direct their patients to donate their embryos. Requires a homestudy. We have gone through three homestudies on our journey, and I do not care to go through another such assessment.

2a. Annonymous donor embryo program at a local clinic. Because we view this as a prenatal adoption, and because we believe children have a right to know their heritage, we do not want an annonymous arrangement. And the local clinics charge like a highway robbery.

2b. Donor embryo program at out of state clinic, with donors willing to be known at least once the child turns 18. This is sounding like the best option for us (as a backup plan), especially since the route we went this time around (#3 below) may not work again, as it involves having to be chosen by donors, and I don’t have the patience for that. Our current transfer clinic doesn’t have their own donor embryo program, so we’d need to find a new clinic, bc our monitoring clinic charges an arm and a leg per transfer.

  1. Matching with donors directly. This is how we adopted our Fantastic Four (via Miracles Waiting). However, this route requires a legal contract, which may be expensive and time consuming. We were able to use attorneys in the donors’ state, but if we had to use local attorneys, the cost would be more than double for legal fees. I also didn’t love the back and forth between us and the donors to pinpoint the details of openness and hypothetical situations (I was glad to do it once, but the prospect of doing it again and again with future embryo batches gives me a headache.)

I should mention that if we do need to go to our backup plan, I will be compromising on several criteria that I was lucky enough to get with our current embryos. For one, if we go with option #2b, we won’t be able to insist on Latino or multiracial embryos, bc time is of the essence, and there are way more Caucasian embryos than any other ethnicity being donated. Also, we may not have the sort of openness we have with our current donors, but this could also be a good thing. As long as the child is able to meet their donors when they turn 18, we are ok with that, and it would relieve the stress of juggling a unique extended family as they grow. Again, I don’t mind it with our current arrangement and our current donors; they’re great people and we have the same expectations. But I can’t expect the same level of comfort with every family we would potentially match with.

Thanks for letting me get this out in writing, and hopefully it can help those considering donor embryos to figure out which way would work best for them. (Did I leave any donor embryo option out?)


I don’t have any advice for you, just want to applaud you for seeking something open. I have a friend who was conceived with donor sperm and not knowing who his father is has been a great source of pain for him for most of his life. I know that should there come a time for us to donate our embryos we will definitely be seeking something open. Both for our own child’s sake and those born from the donated embryos. However, my fingers are triple crossed that you won’t need this back up plan!


Good Luck with your upcoming transfer. Hopefully you will not need a backup plan. We went the Miracles Waiting route to find our donors. We are going out of town for the transfer and are going to our local clinic for monitoring (they don’t do embryo transfers). We waited for over a year on a list with a clinic and never moved up the list and was matched in four months on Miracles Waiting. It should be what you are comfortable with. We are comfortable with an open relationship with our donors (updates, pictures, and contact in the future if child wants to meet donors). Our donors just had to sign some paper to terminate rights and send them to my clinic. We got the embryos transferred from the donors clinic to mine. We didn’t have to have a legal contract to do this.


ani - if you use the NEDC they require a homestudy but you can just send the current one you have to them, they review it and that will meet the home study requirement. You do not have to get a new one done.


Amy, wow, thanks for that heads up! If that’s the case, that definitely opens up a whole lot of other opportunities for us! (Of course, hopefully we won’t need them, but boy, is it good to have that information!):thankyou:


That is why we are going ahead and doing both…we already have the homestudy…why not!

They do make you pay $300 to review your study…once I paid it was magically approved. :rolleyes: If you want an open adoption they do make you go through counseling and you have to develop agreements with the genetic donors. That does cost more but it is availalbe if that is what you are looking for.