Core Values of the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program

The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program has been successfully helping embryo donors match with the adopting family of their choice for over 25 years. We have experience. Our matching service is hands-on, and final matches are mutually agreed upon between the two families – always.

Our success is rooted in our legacy as an adoption agency. Our focus is on children and helping them to be born into loving, stable families.

Our core values are:

    1. Encouraging open, direct communication between matched families. This is best for the kids and the adults. [In today’s world, anonymity is a myth, with services like 23 & Me and social media.]
    2. We work diligently to place entire embryo sets with one adopting family, thus keeping genetic siblings in a limited number of families.
    3. We implement adoption best practices: Every adopting family must complete an adoption home study in preparation for becoming an adoptive parent and to ensure children are being placed into loving and stable homes.  Matching is done by our experienced staff, implementing best-practices of adoption.
    4. We believe that every human life begins at conception and we are committed to helping every embryo placed through our program have the opportunity to be born.  For this reason we believe every embryo deserves to be saved, and we advocate for person-hood of embryos.  This is why we do not allow for selective termination or PGD.

We invite you to learn more about our program. We have shipped over 1,500 sets of embryos to adopting families who gave them the opportunity to be born. We recently celebrated the birth of over 1,000 babies adopted through Snowflakes.

If you have remaining embryos, don’t leave them frozen, choose a family who will give birth to them.

If you would like to welcome an infant child into your family through adoption, Snowflakes may be the fastest and most economical adoption path.

Learn more at or call us at 970-578-9700.

Positive Adoption Language for Embryo Adoption

Snowflakes babies cuddling on the couchIn previous blog posts, we described “positive adoption language,” which refers to the careful use of language when speaking about adoption.

We recommend careful consideration to the terms used when speaking about embryo adoption.  Embryos are human beings, and they deserve to be spoken of with reverence.

Below we list several terms and a suggested alternate:

Recommended Not recommended
Placing parents Donor parents or genetic parents
Embryos or frozen embryos or remaining embryos Leftover or spare embryos
Babies are born from embryos of all qualities Bad embryos
Embryo adoption Embryo donation
Giving embryos an opportunity at life outside of the freezer Chance at life, saving embryos, rescue embryos

Here are further examples for positive language in the world of adoption.

Positive Language Negative Language
Birthparent Real parent
Biological parent Natural parent
Birth child Own child
My child Adopted child
Terminate parental rights Give up
Make an adoption plan Give away
To parent  To keep
Was adopted Is adopted


Below are two other blog posts on this subject:

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What if we are Catholic…can we still pursue embryo adoption?

“We are solving a problem that already exists.”

This is the simple answer we give for why embryo adoption is permissible, even if one has reservations about in vitro fertilization.  In fact, since embryos are human beings, then not only is embryo adoption permissible: it is actually obligatory!

The Catholic Church takes a firm stance on in vitro fertilization (IVF): it’s a non-starter for infertile Catholic couples. The church issued a document in 1987 called the Donum Vitae (DV), or “The Gift of Life,” which clearly outlined its stance on alternative family building methods. The document stated that if technology aided a couple in achieving pregnancy, it was okay. If it replaced the marital act that led to pregnancy, though, it wasn’t – so that ruled out IVF as an option for Catholic couples facing an infertility diagnosis.

But where does that leave embryo adoption?

While the reason these embryos exist in the first place has been condemned by the Catholic Church, it also takes the stance that all children are worthy of love and respect no matter how they were conceived. Father Thomas Williams addressed this controversial issue in an interview with In the interview, he states that the question should not be how these children came into existence, but what we can do now to help them.

“Given the current state of medical science,” Father Williams says, “the only thing that can be done to save the lives of those persons is gestation in a woman’s womb. Most women aren’t called to make this sacrifice, but those who feel called should not be discouraged from doing so.”  You can read the full interview with Father Williams for more information on the moral and theological implications of embryo adoption.

Noted Catholic ethicist, Dr. Elizabeth Rex, has written extensively on the permissibility of Snowflakes®, noting that embryo adoption does not violate the sacred bond of marriage, and fulfills our obligation to save human lives. She says of Donum Vitae, “the human embryo must be treated as a person from the first instant of its conception (DV I.1) and it also declares as ‘licit’ and even ‘desirable’ all therapeutic procedures that ‘are directed toward [the human embryo’s] healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.’ (DV I.3).”  If Donum Vitae sees as desirable all procedures which are directed toward an embryo’s survival, then surely embryo adoption is permissible.

We have recorded a video about the Catholic View of Embryo Adoption presented by two Catholic doctors.

–Daniel Nehrbass, Ph.D.