Embryo Adoption Resources

Webinars

With so many webinars to choose from, we wanted to let you know about three of the favorites that we consistently see help families be best prepared to parent through embryo adoption. You may view Past Webinars, on our Embryo Adoption Awareness Center website.

You Have Fertility Clinic Options

For more than 20 years the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program has worked with clinics to help their patients realize the dream of having a baby – a snowflake baby! In order to help our families complete their Snowflakes adoption more quickly, we have established preferred partnerships with clinics located throughout the U.S., making it easy for you to choose a preferred clinic most convenient to your home. Snowflakes staff members complete many tasks ‘behind the scenes’ to help finalize your adoption.

Snowflakes allows your clinic to focus on what is does best – practice medicine! Let Snowflakes take care of the social and emotional elements that are an important part of your adoption. We have the experience and expertise. Our program is simple and successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

This comprehensive FAQ resource addresses everything from:

  • How much does embryo adoption cost?
  • How long does embryo donation or adoption take?
  • What happens if an embryo recipient has remaining embryos?
  • What is the success rate for embryo donation?

Embryo Adoption FAQs

Why Choose Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption?

Snowflakes Embryo Adoption is uniquely child-centered. The program was established in 1997 to address the problem created by medical science of remaining frozen embryos in storage.  There are now over 1,000,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S.  Of course, some of those embryos remain frozen to help the families who created them have more children in their own family.  Some will be donated to science and some will simply be thawed and discarded. But as more couples with remaining embryos are made aware of their ability to choose a family for their remaining embryos, through an adoption model, they are excited for the opportunity to give their embryos a chance to live in an adoptive family.

Donated Embryos are not Disbursed Among Multiple Families

We are child-centered and we do our best to keep siblings together. Adoption professionals agree that keeping siblings together is a paramount value. Whether children are adopted from another country, through foster care, or domestic placement, we always work diligently to place all siblings into one adopting family. Nightlight extends this family value to embryo child adoption. Our Snowflakes team provides matching services that take into consideration the preferences of both the donor and the adopting families and then places all of the donor’s embryos into that adoptive family’s care.

Since our program encourages open adoption, communication between matched families will be mutually agreed upon between them. Clearly, limiting the number of families in which full genetic siblings exist is a benefit to all. The more families involved, the more difficult it becomes to establish and maintain relationships. It should be noted that some programs charge additional fees to keep the sibling set of embryos together or even charge individual fees for each embryo received. Nightlight values keeping a single donor’s embryos together and charges no additional fees.

Fertility Clinics – working with clinics throughout the United States

Snowflakes has partnered with clinics in the U.S. for adopting families to have their Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) treatment. This covers the majority of regional areas in the U.S. making travel simple and fast. Most adopters choose to work with the Snowflakes preferred partner clinic that is nearest to them for convenience, but you may also have the opportunity to travel to the clinic that created the embryos. The majority of our partner clinics are comfortable allowing patients to complete medical prep at another clinic if they are a significant distance from the family. This can include ultrasounds, medications, blood work, and follow up visits.

While we understand you may already have a relationship with a specific clinic, our team has found that by working with specific clinics we are able to get you to your goal of pregnancy and childbirth more quickly. You may still be able to work with your current doctor for medical preparation.

What is the difference between embryo donation and embryo adoption?

Clinic embryo donation programs are primarily anonymous in their administration.  Personal information about the donor family is not provided and only rudimentary medical information. There is no contact between the families before or after the birth, even through an intermediary. The clinic is required to keep records of the donation for seven years and additional information about the donor family is typically not released, even in the event of a medical emergency. Embryos are be donated directly to the clinic and the clinic determines who receives them. If a donor family has a large number of embryos, they may be given to multiple families [e.g.: If 10 embryos are donated anonymously, 4 are given to family A; 3 are given to family B; and 3 are given to family C]. This means that there could be fully related genetic siblings in several families, living within a reasonably close geographic proximity and none of them would be known by the other.

Snowflakes provides the same safeguards that the traditional adoption process offers, allowing you access to important information about the genetic family that can help your child answer their questions about their origins. You also have the opportunity to have a relationship with your child’s genetic family. Whether you exchange pictures and letters, have telephone conversations, or choose to meet the genetic family, you will know that you have access to information about your child’s history. Nightlight is available to facilitate communication between the families and is also available to educate and work with you about how to talk to your child(ren) about their unique conception and adoption-related issues. While this isn’t the solution for everyone, we believe that families who prefer an adoption model should have access to it.

Why should you donate or adopt embryos?

Snowflakes can help create families for couples whose infertility does not allow them to create their own biological families, specifically couples considering egg or sperm donation, or couples who want to build their family through adoption and be able to experience pregnancy and control the pre-natal environment of their child.

What are the options for embryo donation?

When donating embryos through an adoption agency the embryo donor is empowered with knowledge and control of their embryo donation.  It is not anonymous. You choose the adopting family. You know the outcome of the transfer and pregnancy. You can be assured that Snowflakes provides the same safeguards that the traditional adoption process offers. The embryo donator knows the adoptive family has been screened for a criminal history and child abuse record, and received education about how to parent an adopted child. They have the peace of mind of having handpicked a family for their remaining embryos. They also have the opportunity to have contact with the adopting family to whatever extent both families are comfortable.

Why would we choose embryo adoption instead of embryo donation?

You would have a chance to have knowledge regarding your child’s genetic history. Whether you exchange pictures and letters, have telephone conversations, or choose to meet the placing family, you will know that you have access to information about your child’s history. Nightlight is available to facilitate communication between the families and is also available to educate and work with you about how to talk to your child(ren) about their unique conception and adoption-related issues.

Why would we choose embryo adoption instead of traditional adoption of a newborn?

The most obvious difference between an embryo adoption and a traditional domestic adoption is the pregnancy experience.

Adoptive moms are able to experience the joys (and challenges!) of pregnancy and labor. You also have the peace of mind of knowing you control the pre-natal environment of your baby.

Although an embryo adoption allows more control in some ways, it provides less in other ways. You cannot choose the gender of the child as you might in an international or older child adoption, and you cannot change your mind and choose not accept the baby for whatever reason after he or she is born. In addition, because up to three embryos are transferred at once, you might have twins or triplets. Embryo adoption can also be more difficult emotionally than traditional adoption, since there is no guarantee that in the end you will have a child.

Is Snowflakes an experienced embryo adoption agency?

Since 1997, Nightlight has completed over 1000 embryo adoptions. Nightlight completes about 100-120 embryo adoptions each year and with ongoing embryo transfers there are always 25-35 babies due at any given time.

Do you offer international embryo adoption?

The Snowflake program offers embryo adoption to people worldwide. Most of the embryo donation and adoption process can be completed via phone and email. However, the frozen embryo transfer for international families must happen in the U.S. All available donated embryos in the program are located in U.S. clinics or storage facilities.

Is an embryo a person?

When does life begin? If you’ve struggled with this question, you’re not alone.  Stephanie Gray, director of Love Unleashes Life, answers the question and helps equip you so you’re prepared next time the topic comes up.

When Does Life Begin?

Those are serious questions that have been debated for years. Does life start at conception or does it begin later?  This video will give you the answers to your questions so you can be more informed.

Snowflakes Newsletter Archives

Our monthly newsletters provide education, share personal stories and reveal the latest Snowflakes babies.

The benefits of choosing open adoption

There is much fear and uncertainty regarding choosing an open adoption plan. The Henderson and Gassman families were matched through Snowflakes. Listen as they explain the steps they purposefully made to build trust and love into their new family tree.

Family Stories

Helpful Websites

Embryo Adoption Awareness Center

Hannah’s Prayer

Clinic Success Rates

Respecting Adopted Embryos

Pathway2Family Magazine

Conveniently read this unique embryo donation and embryo adoption magazine on your favorite device.  Each issue contains insight regarding the process, visual guides and family stories. We want to help you find your Pathway2Family.

Books

Whether you are first learning about embryo adoption and want to read more, or you’ve got an embryo adopted child of your own, we hope these books will encourage and inspire. 

 

A Snowflake Named Hannah

John and Marlene Strege are the first family in the world to adopt a child as an embryo. Now their story, the story of the invention of embryo adoption and the resulting pro-life battles, is written for you to read. The following review of the book is written by Snowflake Baby #1, Hannah Strege, who is now a fervent advocate for embryo adoption.

“As a busy college student caught up in finishing the semester, I finally had the chance to finish my father’s memoir on my adoption story. That being said, I wanted to share my initial thoughts with you. My first is gratitude. Its difficult to look back on life’s events and in hindsight, not give God a five star review for how He worked out these events for our good and the good of Snowflake families everywhere. God was the ultimate author of my story, my dad just had the sense to write it down. I do not have enough time to properly thank each and every person that played a huge role in who I am becoming and who contributed to the Snowflakes program being born. Reading the criticisms from our elected politicians and celebrities on whether or not my life and millions more were expendable for the sake of embryonic stem cell research breaks my heart. These embryos are not merely dots on a page, but human lives. Embryonic stem cell research is still being funded, but at what expense? My life? Someone else’s? Snowflake parents, hug your Snowflakes tight for me tonight, and I thank you deeply for accepting the call to be a parent, and change the course of your child(s) life. This book continues to inspire my passion for a career in social work, and protecting the lives of frozen embryos awaiting a chance at life and continuing the work of the “pioneers” of this program. This is the first book I have read by John Strege, but it certainly will not be my last.”

For Kids

Snowflake Baby

By Chris & Kari Stewart

Written by a couple who gave birth to their Snowflake Baby in 2018. A story of hopes dashed and hopes fulfilled, told in allegory and poetry. This charming story follows couples through their infertility journeys onto welcoming their babies into the world.

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Made with Love

By Whitney Williams

Explaining embryo donation and adoption to young children can be hard. But ‘Made With Love’ makes it easy by using an allegory every child can understand: baking cookies! A visual feast with the sweetest-ever rhyming story line, donating and adopting families alike will eat up this heartwarming tale.

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You Were Made for Me

By Sheri Sturniolo

Growing a family isn’t always easy and sometimes mommies and daddies need a little help. See how the generosity and love of others can grow into the most wonderful gift. You Were Made For Me is a look into the unique ways that some families are made and the journey of love that brings them together.

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Hope and Will Have a Baby

By Iréné Celcer

Follow an inquisitive little boy who learns of his parents’ quest to have children, and the success they ultimately achieve in creating a family. Told in a language a child can understand, these books recount the tale of how mom and dad met, fell in love, and ultimately built a family.

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A Gift for Little Tree

By Colleen Marquez

A parable about adoption, this charming story tells of an apple tree who is unable to bear fruit—no matter how hard she tries—until a wise farmer finds a way. He grafts a bud onto Little Tree’s limb, and in time she becomes the most colorful tree in the orchard.

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Before You Were Born: Our Wish for a Baby

By Janice Grimes

A story book written in age-appropriate, loving language and tells the story of how a child came to be via embryo donation or embryo adoption. The book is written for 3-5 year olds. Using bears as characters, the illustrations depict the typical day in the life of a child interacting with their parent.

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What Makes a Baby

By Cory Silverberg

“A Truly Inclusive Way to Answer the Question ‘Where Do Babies Come From?’: The new book What Makes a Baby offers an origin story for all children, no matter what their families look like.”
—The Atlantic

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Training Wheels: How Did I Get Here?

By Chris Barrett and Sally Hunter

The story is about five year old Miles and the new bike he gets for his birthday from his special friend, Mike in California. Miles’ parents explain that Mike’s mom and dad generously donated their remaining embryos and he was born as a result of their loving gift.
—The Atlantic

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Treasure Babies: How two under-the-sea families came to be

By Whitney Williams

“Treasure Babies: How two under-the-sea families came to be” was written to help children understand the basic concepts of infertility, conception through IVF/fertility treatments, and the beauty that is embryo donation/adoption. Great for families who have donated their embryos and for recipient families!
—The Atlantic

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The Pea That Was Me: An Embryo Donation Story

By Kimberly Kluger-Bell

A great way to introduce children conceived through embryo donation to the idea that “some very nice people” (a man and a woman) donated an extra “pea” (or embryo) to help bring them into the loving arms of “mommy and daddy”. May be read to children as young as 3 years old, and has room at the end to fill in your own child’s details.
—The Atlantic

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For Parents-To-Be

Frozen, But Not Forgotten

By Nate Birt

I have read the few books that exist about embryo adoption. This book makes a unique contribution: helping people really envision themselves as adoptive parents. Birt helps prospective adoptive parents become psychologically healthy to prepare for adoption, with profound advice on topics such as how to explain your story to other people in front of your children. Anyone considering embryo adoption… should read this book.
—Daniel Nehrbass, Ph.D., President of Nightlight Christian Adoptions

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Chosen for Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World

By Paul J. Batura

Chosen for Greatness profiles 25 well-known adoptees who were given the opportunity to change history for the better when they were taken in by their new families. While the book focuses on traditional adoption, it includes a wonderful chapter on embryo adoption.

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Three Makes Baby: How to parent your donor-conceived child

By Jana M. Rupnow, LPC

A fertility counselor addresses your urgent questions: Why should we tell our child we’re not genetically related? How do we tell our child about donor conception? And when is the best time? Should we keep the donor a secret? You can learn to overcome fears that make you want to keep a secret—yet maintain your family’s privacy.

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Of Souls and Snowflakes

By Tiffany Childs

“A thoughtful, personal, and inspirational account of a family’s desire for children that dramatically illuminates the intersection of the Gospel with the modern world.”
—John D. Koch, Jr.; Rector, St. Francis in the Fields, Louisville, KY

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Souls on Ice

By Maria Lancaster

Unique and inspiring. Souls on Ice invites you to share some of the most intimate moments in the lives of couples who experienced the miracle of birth through embryo adoption. Like the embryos themselves, each story is unique and reflects God’s active role in our lives today. —Ronald L. Stoddart, President Emeritus, Nightlight Christian Adoptions

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