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.