Five Things to Know When Donating Embryos


So, you have decided to take the plunge and donate your embryos to another family! You may think the process is simple: Speak with a representative, sign some papers, and then you are done! There is so much more to the embryo donation process then some families initially realize.

Here are the top five things you should be prepared for when starting the embryo donation process:

1) You do have a choice in which embryo donation programs you work with, but not all embryo adoption or donation programs are the same.

With most embryo donation programs, you do not have a say in who receives your embryos, and because many clinics place anonymously, you will have no idea if you (or your child!) will cross paths with the baby who was born from those embryos. Snowflakes Embryo Adoption not only allows you to know whom the embryos were placed with, but also allows you the opportunity to choose the family yourself!

2) Many clinic donation programs will not take embryos that are more than five years old.

Embryos that are more than five years old typically have older protocols for thawing and transferring embryos. Consequently, many clinics and adoptive families opt not to use “older” embryos for family building. Currently, Snowflakes has adopting families who are willing to be placed with these embryos, with the help of our preferred partner clinics.

3) If you have less than three embryos, it is likely there is a cost to donate.

It costs twice as much to donate two embryos as it does to donate four embryos. When you donate, there are multiple logistics to consider, like legal paperwork, FDA donor panels, etc. In addition, the cost of administration, support, and storage. Some embryo adoption or donation programs charge you for all the fees that are incurred, while others may just need to offset some of the cost. But be aware, while you might find a program that has no fee to donate, you may also discover they do not give you much say in the donation process either.

4) You are responsible for storage and transportation costs of your embryos, until you sign the contract to release them to someone else.

United States law still regards embryos that exist outside the womb as property. Therefore, as these embryos are viewed as your property, you are responsible for storing and transporting them. This can become quite costly over time if it is taking time to find the right family for your embryos. As a result, one of the most popular questions asked is, “Is there a less expensive place I could store my embryos?” Yes! Moving your embryos to a storage facility is highly recommended. You can speak with a Snowflakes representative for more information on how to get the process started!

5) The Snowflakes program empowers placing families with confidence in choosing life for their remaining embryos.

The term “Snowflakes” was coined by Nightlight in reference to embryos–because each one is unique and frozen in time. For over 25 years, Nightlight and Snowflakes has been empowering placing families with confidence when choosing life for their remaining embryos.  For more information on donating embryos through the Snowflakes program, call our Colorado office at 970-578-9700, or visit


By: Jen Grams


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