August 17, 2012

Embryo Adoption Helps Family with Difficult Decision

The following was written by a mother who made the choice to donate her embryos to to the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. 

Embryos - potential childrenI could use many words to describe life. “Fair” isn’t one of them. I have always dreamed of becoming a mother. Every job I’ve had centered around children and education. I married my prince charming and saved up for the down payment on a four door car. Next, we started researching suburban schools. There would be no crowded urban school with high drop out rate for our kids, no sir. After finding the right blend of excellent schools and business opportunities, we chose the suburb we’d move to. We chose to build a home there and I purposefully picked an open floor plan so I could watch our children play while I made wholesome dinners. Everything that we could control and plan for was done to the best of our ability…. except conception.

We stared the round of usual doctor’s appointments and tests. Five years and two surgeries later, we were still childless. We were patients of the best fertility specialist in the state (see, only the best for our kids) and had tried Inter-Uterine Insemination many times. Still, no pregnancy. Though I did watch painfully as one of my thirteen-year-old students became pregnant.

Logically we knew that the next step was In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Besides a dwindling bank account, there was another issue holding me back. I firmly believe that life begins at conception. Any fertilized embryo that this procedure creates would be one of our children. What if we decided we were “done” with our family and there were more embryos? Would they be destroyed or discarded? That was something that I just couldn’t live with. We would be creating children (embryos) and our goal was to give them a chance to live. I wouldn’t go through with the procedure if all of the embryos we created wouldn’t have a chance at life.Another period of prayer, contemplation, and decision making. At this stage of the game, the only thing you can control is information. I discovered something that would make my decision making process a whole lot easier – Snowflakes Embryo Adoption. This wonderful division of Nightlight Christian Adoption specializes in the donation or adoption of embryos (fertilized eggs that have been cryogenically frozen). Their agency gives embryos that have been created through the process of IVF a chance at life with another family. Their website states, “You love and care about your embryos and want the best for them.” It was an answer to prayer to find others who shared my beliefs!

Snowflakes handles their embryo adoption in the exact same way they process a live birth adoption. Biological parents of embryos and adoptive parents of embryos have the same rights as biological parents of born children and adoptive parents of born children. Parents who are placing embryos for adoption complete required medical tests, release medical history information, and fill out a family profile for adopting families to read. The adopting parents also undergo medical tests to confirm that the woman is able to carry a child and fill out a profile as well. The biological parents look at profiles of parents who are wanting to adopt. Once the biological parents find their perfect family, the biological family’s portfolio is sent to the family seeking adoption. If the adoptive family agrees it is a good match, the legal paperwork starts. The biological parents create the communication plan that includes decisions like: Do we want to hear about the outcome of the procedure? Do we want pictures? Will we ever meet our biological children?

We felt so strongly about this decision that we filled out all of the legal paperwork so that in the case of our death any existing embryos would become physical and legal property of Snowflakes. With this information and these legal decisions made, we felt comfortable going through with the IVF treatments.

This was the most agonizing period of our life with difficult decisions and great expenses. However, that dream of mine, to become a mother, came true!! We have twin boys and donated 3 embryos to Snowflakes. We are waiting to find out the results of the adoptive family’s procedure. Maybe embryo adoption is your dream come true too!

To learn more about the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program visit www.Snowflakes.org

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