Celebrating the Birth of Snowflake Baby #1000!

 

celebrating the birth of snowflake baby #1000

In 1997, John and Marlene had a desire to have children. When they decided to pursue adopting a couple’s frozen embryos, they did not expect to create a new form of adoption that would take the world by storm.

Hence the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program was born. And 25 years later, we have celebrated the birth of our 1,000th baby!

In 2012, after finding out they could not conceive children naturally, Rodney and Mary Leah set out on a journey to build their family. That same year, a couple they had never met created embryos for their own IVF treatment—embryos that would later be placed for adoption. Rodney and Mary Leah attempted their own rounds of IVF seven times; only having one transfer and no pregnancy from all those cycles. In 2020, after seeing family friends successfully have their own baby through Snowflakes, they turned to embryo adoption.

Rodney and Mary Leah were matched with their first set of embryos in 2021. And they did achieve pregnancy… however, they suffered a miscarriage at the eight week appointment. With no more embryos left, they decided to go back through the Snowflakes Program. They transferred two embryos and became pregnant with twins! Dalton Rice and Mary Elizabeth were born on December 23rd, 2022; frozen for ten years, Snowflakes Babies #1000 and #1001.

Snowflakes babies #1000 and #1001

As an organization, we are truly grateful to all our donors for choosing life for their embryos, to our adoptive couples for their commitment to these frozen lives, and to all our partner clinics who spread the word about this unique form of adoption. Because of your hard work, embryo adoption is becoming a more well-known family building method.

1000 babies born from frozen embryos is an incredible milestone. The Lord has truly blessed our staff and ministry in the mission of getting frozen embryos out of storage and born into loving families. Rodney and Mary Leah hope that the birth of Dalton and Mary Elizabeth will encourage others to adopt embryos just waiting to be born.

If you would like to get started on your own embryo adoption journey, give us a call at (970) 578-9700 so that we can help you build your family!

On to Snowflakes Baby #2,000!

For further information on embryo adoption or donation, visit Snowflakes.org.

Snowflakes’ Families Participate in First Ever Study on Embryo Donation

 

At the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in October 2022, new research project was presented on the Psychosocial Outcomes of Children Born via Embryo Donation. The study participants included Snowflakes Embryo Adoption families, but embryo donation is the preferred terminology in the medical world.

The objective of the study was to assess parents’ perception of the psychosocial adjustment of their children born via embryo donation and their relationships.

 The hypothesis of the study were:

  • Kids born via embryo donation are psychosocially well-adjusted
  • Parents perceive good relationships with their children born via embryo donation

The conclusion? Families created through embryo donation report favorable:

  • Parent-child relationship quality
  • Child behavioral adjustment
  • Child social/emotional adjustment

Several embryo donation programs gave access to their clients/patients who had children born through embryo donation or adoption, including Snowflakes, the majority of which identified as Christian.

In summary, the report stated there is a high degree of comfort with embryo donation given disclosure rates with minimal regret. Most of the respondents were provided with home study education that explained the benefits of not keeping their embryo donation a secret – especially from their children.

Another positive finding of the research is that embryo donation does not appear to increase the risk of adverse obstetric or fetal outcomes.  

 Most of these families received education regarding how to tell their children, building relationships with their donor family, and avoiding secrecy. Isn’t it great to have some research to back-up the anecdotal evidence seen over the past 25 years?

Learn more about embryo adoption at www.Snowflakes.org.

Season of Giving

Christmas is a time of excitement. Stores are bustling, shoppers are busy, and there is a sense of anticipation in the air as we prepare for the holidays with friends, family, food, and gift-giving. In the back of your mind, you think again about your frozen embryos sitting in storage…

Is this the season to give the ultimate gift of a family to those who cannot have a family themselves?

 Perhaps you are unable to use all of the embryos you have created using IVF, and now the thought of discarding them or donating them to science does not seem like the right choice anymore. But there are other choices—gifting them to another family! Embryo donation through the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program allows families who are complete to give their remaining embryos to another family so they may complete their own family like you! You created the embryos in the first place to hopefully become a living, breathing baby. You can still choose life for your embryos!

Christmas is a reminder that family and kindness are of utmost importance. Seeing loved one’s faces light up from an exciting gift is often more gratifying than receiving a gift yourself. Embryo donation through Snowflakes empowers you to have a choice in the family who received your gift of embryos. Choose to give the greatest gift of life to not only a family but your embryos.

To learn more about the donation process, visit Snowflakes.org.

Is 2021 Your Year to Donate?

 

The turn of a new year tends to bring about themes of renewal, fresh starts, decision making, and conquering goals. For those of you who have found yourself at the end of your IVF journey, you may have come face to face with the decision this past year of what is to be done with your remaining embryos. This decision may be one you never thought you’d have to face and wish you didn’t have to. It may seem daunting, or you may not feel emotionally prepared, but it is never too early to search out the answers you seek. Now is a good time to take the first step.

The Donation Option

Have you ever looked into embryo donation and adoption? Did you know there was such a thing as an adoption model for donating your embryos? The thought of your embryos belonging to someone else may be one that seems unbearable, but many who have faced these fears have found placement through an adoption program was right for them.

Reasons to Donate:

  • Embryo donation is a life-giving option for your embryos!
  • Through embryo donation with adoption agencies such as the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program, you have the ability to choose who will adopt your embryos and the peace of mind that they have been deemed physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially prepared to raise a family by adoption agency professionals.
  • You created your embryos because you wanted a family. Now you can help someone else do the same.
  • Certain embryo adoption agencies (like Snowflakes) allow for communication with adoptive families and updates on children born from the embryos.
  • Many clinics will not accept embryos that have been frozen before a certain date. The sooner you donate your embryos, the more likely they are to be accepted by an adoptive family’s clinic.
  • Storage costs have become difficult to manage.

Take the First Step

It all starts with one simple step: asking questions. Often, it is the fear of the unknown that keeps us from moving forward.

Where to Start:

In this New Year, make your resolution one of gaining knowledge, educating yourself, and taking time to reflect on tough questions and emotions you may have been avoiding. The fear of the unknown can be crippling. The good news is that one small step can be all you need to allow yourself to take another, and then another, and then just one more until you find the answers and peace of mind you have been seeking.

To learn more about embryo donation, visit EmbyroAdoption.org.

 

Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program Reaches 1,000 Donor Family

1000“I just want to know the couple who adopts my baby is going to be great parents.” That’s what Sarah said to me on the phone a couple days ago. You would expect that is a typical request from anyone considering an adoption plan. Less typical, however, was her next statement, “My baby has been at the University of Chicago for two years.” Her baby isn’t sick, nor is he a prodigious student. He is an embryo in frozen storage.

Sarah is not a pro-life activist, nor an activist for anything as far as I can tell. She is just a mother who feels tremendous responsibility. She wasn’t using carefully worded rhetoric; she was just speaking from the heart about her intuitive sense that her embryo deserves an opportunity for life in a loving home. The reason she called Nightlight is that she had confidence the Snowflake® program would find a well-vetted family to raise the child who is genetically related to her.

We celebrate this week the 1,000th donor family to begin this process with Snowflakes. We recognize that those one thousand couples have been torn among a variety of difficult options: continued storage, donation to research, disposition, or donation. Donation is not an easy choice…the thought of someone else raising a child genetically related to you evokes discomfort and fear. It is only when weighed against the other options that donation becomes a little easier.

Because all of these choices are difficult, most couples stay “on the fence” for years with no plan for the embryos, so indefinite storage becomes the implicit choice. What helps our donor couples finally get off the fence is our strong social work model, based on our 54-years as an adoption agency. Our donors have confidence that every Snowflake family will complete a quality home study, social workers will conduct the matching process, and the adoptive and donor couples will have an “open” relationship in the future. To every one of our thousand donor couples, I thank you for making this difficult, yet life-honoring decision.

–Daniel Nehrbass, Executive Director

We are very excited about receiving our 1,000th donor family. This represents nearly 5,000 embryos that have come through our program. That is a lot of embryos that have been given a chance at life.

–Kelly Poffenberger, Snowflakes Program Director

Video Demonstrates the Power and Value of Embryo Adoption

NCCRM videoIn North Carolina a couple recently gave birth to a baby boy using donated embryos. The video details why they chose to use donor embryos. It also shares the perspectives of the donor couple.

What were two of the issues raised by each family?

  1. The adopting dad is wondering, ‘what if my son meets a biological sibling in the future?’
  2. The difficult decision made by the donor family to gift their embryos to another family.

The process of embryo adoption, offered by the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program since 1997, is a solution for both of these issues.

The donor family gets to choose who receives their embryo gift. They know that the family who receives them isn’t just ‘Joe and Nancy clinic patient’; the family they choose has been counseling by professional social workers and properly vetted to provide the donor with confidence in their family selection.

The adopting family knows and is known by the donor family at a mutually agreed upon level. The likelihood of their biological siblings meeting unexpectedly in the future in minimized by the embryo adoption process – one of its strongest points!

Simple, Successful, Snowflakes.

New Embryo Adoption Study

survey 2Nightlight Christian Adoptions’ Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program is supporting Dr. Erick Blyth, from the University of Huddersfield, England and Dr. Lusy Frith from the University of Liverpool, England, in an online survey to investigate the nature and frequency of contact between families who have built their family by means of embryo adoption and the couples who provided the embryo(s).
If you either provided or received embryos via the Snowflakes Program AND

  • At least one child has been born as a result AND
  • You are in contact with your provider or recipient couple AND
  • You are interested in taking part in this study, please follow either of the following links-

For Embryo Providers- http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/hud/embryoproviders
For Embryo Providers- http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/hud/embryorecipients

This survey will be available until Saturday, August 31, 2013.

What’s Your Attitude and Practice? Take this survey before April 30!

sur

Nightlight would like to encourage you to respond to this multi-national online survey of the attitudes and practices of people regarding assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

As many of you know, our Snowflakes program was created to both help people who have used ART choose a positive solution for remaining frozen human embryos through embryo donation and to help families achieve their hope of pregnancy and childbirth.

Since 1997 there have now been over 330 babies born to Snowflake families as a result of the generosity of many embryo donations.

The primary investigator of the study is Dr. Megan Best, an Australian physician and recent author of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Matthias Media, 2012). The survey is being sponsored in the U.S. by the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (CBHD).

Please take the survey now.

Dear Abby Addresses a 21st Century Dilemma: What to do with remaining embryos

Abigail-van-BurenSince 1956 readers have been turning to the “Dear Abby” column for answers to life’s questions, concerns and more. Today [January 3, 2012] Abby addresses a concern facing 21st century readers: what should be done with frozen embryos remaining from in vitro fertilization treatments? Deadlocked in New Jersey and her husband are facing this difficult dilemma for two of their remaining embryos. Deadlocked and her husband successfully gave birth to twins via in vitro and then had a third child conceived naturally.

They believe their family is complete, yet morally, Deadlocked believes she should give the embryos ‘the chance [at life] they were meant to have.’
In the face of an economic hardship, Deadlocked’s husband is hesitant to pursue another frozen embryo transfer. This leaves Deadlocked unsure how to ‘do what I believe is right and stand by my religious and moral beliefs’ without causing her husband to resent her.

With more than 612,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S., many other families may be facing a similar struggle.

Abby suggests that Deadlocked may want to consider another option: embryo adoption. “Your embryos could be donated for embryo adoption by a couple who have been unable to conceive, and who would love to raise them.”

To read the Dear Abby Column visit Yahoo News. For more information on how to donate remaining embryos visit the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center.