National Infertility Awareness Week: Dangerous Infertility Myths

dangerous infertility myths

Chances are if you are looking to add to your family through adoption, you may be struggling (or have been struggling) with infertility. You are not alone—about one in eight couples in the U.S. face infertility. 

When first coming face to face with an infertility diagnosis, families are often subjected to a wide-range of misinformation online, which spreads from the misconceptions, half-truths, anecdotes, and downright myths. This can come directly from in-person or online support groups, social media influencers, and Google. Sadly, this distortion of the truth is not just limited to online spaces—they can also be spread from people we know, like close family or friends.  

Here are the top five myths you may come across regarding infertility. 

Anecdotes from family and friends

One of the first people you may turn to for advice when starting the infertility journey are close family or friends. While they may offer great support, they may offer some unsolicited (and maybe downright incorrect) advice. This could include statements like, “Stop stressing about it! Once you stop worrying, it will happen… like it did for me,” or “Kyle and I started the keto diet, and we were pregnant in three months.” You can also easily find similar stories on social media spaces, like Facebook groups. While they mean well, your friends and family members are not your doctors, and your life experiences will not be the same as yours. 

Fertility Foods

We all have heard the famous fertility myth of eating oysters! While there is no specific food or diet that will magically boost your chances of conception, a nutritious and well-balanced diet can certainly help support overall health, including reproductive health. However, food choices alone will not reverse an infertility diagnosis. There is no magical food that will promote an increase in sperm production, nor reverse the damage of endometriosis.


There are so many myths surrounding medications and infertility. We are not going to pick apart each one of these in the short blog. But know that your doctor, who has the experience and knowledge in infertility diagnoses and fertility treatments, will talk with you about your concerns. Reading personal experiences of medications from Dr. Google will not help you, nor your doctor, get you closer to finding a solution.

Misinformation in the Media

At 48, Hillary Swank recently gave birth to twins. That did not happen without the help of fertility treatments. Regardless, many people may be led to believe that waiting until you are 40, 45, and even 50 to have children is entirely possible. The reality is (for women in particular) fertility declines dramatically after the age of 35, and many have to resort to egg donation to have successful IVF cycles. Other social media influencers may tout specialty teas, lifestyles, or treatments that helped them achieve pregnancy—which in reality was not the only route they took. 

IVF Treatment Success

One of the most harmful myths when it comes to infertility is that you will achieve pregnancy if you pursue IVF. Many hopeful families do pursue IVF, only to be left without any baby, or sometimes even without a single embryo. There is no 100% guarantee with IVF, or any fertility treatment, that you will walk away successful. 

Many families have chosen adoption, foster care, or decide to be childless because IVF was not successful for them. 

For some families who have been diagnosed with infertility, or were told they would never be able to carry a pregnancy, have found success through Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. This can be an amazing, cost-effective, family building option you may have been looking for! 

To learn more about embryo adoption through Nightlight, visit 

The Benefits of a Snowflakes Family Evaluation


benefitsRequiring a home study as part of the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program follows the best practices of adoption. Previous blogs have addressed why a home study is required and the purpose it serves. In this blog we want to address the question of how the home study process is valuable to the adoptive parent and how the benefits of a Snowflakes Family Evaluation.

When prospective adoptive parents see the list of requirements, documents, and education involved in the Snowflakes Family Evaluation (or SFE, a pre-adoptive assessment used in lieu of a home study, applicable only to embryo adoption), many feel overwhelmed. At least initially. It is also not unusual to feel a bit resentful. Common questions we hear are, “People that have biological children do not have to go through this before they have a baby… Why should I?” Or, “We are already parents and are raising our children just fine. Why do I need to do this?”

Here are three benefits of a Snowflakes Family Evaluation you should keep in mind:


It never hurts to learn something new, particularly when it comes to parenting. Parenting an adopted child (even those adopted through embryo adoption) requires specific education that is not received when parenting biological children.


Many topics are covered during the SFE and interview process that parents may not have considered or discussed with one another previously. Such as how they plan to discipline their adopted child(ren) and who they will ask to be the guardians of their children and remaining embryos if something should happen to both.


None of us are perfect, and adoptive parents certainly are not expected to be either. The assessment involved in the SFE helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each prospective adoptive parent that may affect their parenting. It allows us to give a pat on the back for those strengths, as well as some goals to work on if there are weaknesses in other areas.

While this is not an exhaustive list of benefits, they are great reminders of why a SFE is beneficial to you as the adoptive family. You want to do and be the best for your future children. And so do we!

To learn more about embryo adoption and donation through Snowflakes, visit

Embryo Adoption Grants and Scholarships


Starting the embryo adoption journey through the Snowflakes program can be very exciting, but the financial component can take people by surprise. Adopting embryos does indeed have a cost, but the good news is that there are grants, scholarships, and loans out there that can help fund your fees for the adoption process, fertility treatments, and both!

See below for our compiled list of grants and scholarships that can help you through your embryo adoption journey!

  • Baby Quest Foundation Grants: This grant is awarded two times a year, between the amount of $2,000-$16,000. It can be applied to the embryo adoption process and is open to all who are permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Cade Foundation Family Building Grant: This grant is offered twice per year—spring and fall. Awards up to $10,000 per funded family to help with costs of medical infertility treatments. Applicants must have a diagnosis of infertility from their doctor and must be legal, permanent U.S. residents.
  • Footprints of Angels: Footprints of Angels is a nonprofit organization supporting women impacted by recurrent miscarriages and infertility. This grant states it will cover the costs associated with third-party reproduction, which includes embryo donation and adoption. Applicants must be citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and have a diagnosis of infertility certified by a medical provider.
  • The Hope for Fertility National Grant: This grant can be applied to the embryo adoption process, FET expenses, and blood work and tests. It cannot be applied to expenses for travel or medication. The grant is available to couples who are married, legal residents of the U.S., and have been officially diagnosed with infertility by a medical professional.
  • Gift of Parenthood: This grant helps couples and individuals struggling with infertility achieve their dreams of becoming parents through fertility assistance grants ranging from $8,000 to $15,000, available four times a year. This grant can be applied to embryo donation or adoption expenses. All applicants must be uninsured for fertility treatments, and treatments must occur at a Snowflakes partner fertility clinic that is a member of SART.
  • Nightlight Foundation Grant Program: Nightlight Foundation (formerly “Babushka Fund”) assists families who might not otherwise be able to afford the costs of adoption for a child who might not otherwise be adopted. A grant committee will review applications and make awards of $500 to $5,000 (with an average gift of $1000) to prospective adopting families. This grant could be available to Snowflake’s families who are adopting embryos through the Open Hearts Program.
  • Adoption Bridge: While this is not specifically a grant, this can be a great resource for raising funds that any grants may not cover. Nightlight’s crowdfunding website is where you can tell your embryo adoption story, post pictures, and videos, and keep people informed about what’s going on. You can accept donations from your friends and family, and these funds are sent directly to Nightlight.

This is not an extensive list, but it is a great way to start your research! Nightlight also offers all clients the opportunity to connect with our Family Resource Specialist who assists families in identifying funding resources for their adoption fees.  To learn more about embryo adoption or donation through Snowflakes, visit

By: Paige Zapf

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


Help Nightlight Christian Adoptions Win $20K!

Comcast Innovations for EntrepreneursHave you heard?! Nightlight has been chosen as one of 30 finalists in Comcast’s Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest! We need your help to be chosen as a one of six Grand Prize Winners that will win $20,000!

We entered the contest to gain funding that can help make the process of adopting easier for potential parents. Not only would we be able to help potential parents complete the adoption process online, we’d help them prepare for their adopted child by introducing an online education process. In order to meet these goals, we need to gain access to some existing software programs, which can often be expensive. And with that, we’d like to be able to customize the software to include some embryo adoption-specific enhancements.

At Nightlight, we’re all about helping more babies be born out of frozen storage with our Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. We also work to raise awareness about embryo adoption through the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center, which Nightlight runs. With more than 600,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S., our goal is to help them become the children they were meant to be, which we do by matching donor parents with adopting parents through an open adoption process.

So how can you help? Visit, and vote daily through May 13, 2016. Only one vote per person, per day will count to help us out, so help us spread the word through social media!

Learn more about Comcast Business’ Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest online, and see our full essay on the voting page. Thank you for your vote!

Faith through the ups and downs of Embryo Adoption

embryoThe following is written by a Snowflakes family.

We are Ben and Steph, and we’ve had an amazing experience with embryo adoption. After dealing with infertility, we looked into EA. We liked the pro-life aspect – rescuing little lives that are frozen in time, waiting just to be given a chance at life. Being pregnant was also a huge plus – forming that bond from the beginning and knowing that we could do our best to provide a healthy, happy 9 months for the baby. But at the core, we chose EA because we knew God was clearly leading us in that direction.

We have definitely faced the fear of disappointment along the way. Each time you do a transfer, you open your heart to the hope of your embryos surviving and being born, of holding a baby (or babies) in your arms. It’s a place of vulnerability known especially by those who have struggled with infertility. Also, what might be considered typical “adoptive parent” fears cropped up – that our child would someday reject us as the “real parents” or that because we adopted multi-ethnic embryos, our child would have just one more layer of questions and potential difficulty with us being the parents. These fears caused us to pause, take time to talk and pray together, and seek God’s reassurance before proceeding. Continue reading

EAAC Premieres Must-See Videos on Successful Embryo Adoptions

You may be familiar with many of the services and programs Nightlight Christian Adoptions has to offer, from international adoption to domestic adoption to the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program.

But did you know that Nightlight also operates a federal grant to increase public awareness of human embryo adoption? In 2007, the agency established the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center (EAAC) to manage all grant activities. These activities have included an informative web site, educational webinars and a yearly law student essay contest.

The EAAC has also produced many informative videos on this unique adoption alternative. This week, the program premieres three brand new videos sharing inspiring stories from Snowflake adoptive families.

Anyone who has considered alternative family building options will relate to some element in these stories. From multiple miscarriages to premature ovarian failure these families gave birth to their children as a result of choosing the extraordinary option of embryo donation and adoption.

So what are you waiting for? Click on the links below to hear these incredible stories – ones that are likely to change the way you think about this unique adoption option.

Hope Restored by Embryo Adoption

Mike and Son

Mike and Stephanie’s dreams of starting a family seemed dim after being diagnosed with male infertility factor. A family member told them about embryo adoption and the couple found new hope.

“My doctor was hopeful that I could carry a baby to term and have a successful pregnancy. We didn’t pursue IVF because that wasn’t an option for us or any other fertility treatments. (Embryo Adoption)  just seemed like a perfect fit for us and it ended up being a great avenue for us into starting our family.” [Stephanie]

Now after two successful pregnancies through embryo adoption, Mike and Stephanie have two healthy boys and took time to share how it all happened. Continue reading