In Vitro Fertilization Alternatives: Embryo Adoptions

Very few In Vitro Fertilization alternatives have managed to surface as a viable and effective option for couples struggling with infertility. Among these, Embryo Adoptions is the most preferred option.

How Embryo Adoptions Function

Embryo Adoption is also an extension of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment, apart from being a more undemanding alternative. In IVF, an egg and sperm are fertilized in laboratory-controlled settings to augment the chances of sourcing healthly embryos. During IVF, multiple embryos are prepared since the selection procedure is very exhaustive, and it is aimed at selecting the healthiest of embryos that are likely to sustain the pregnancy.

As a result, many embryos are cryogenically stored to ensure a steady supply of healthy embryos. However, once an implanted embryo is successfully implanted and the subsequent tests ensure that the pregnancy has initiated successfully, the stored embryos are of little use to the couple that had sought IVF. This is where the first step towards Embryo Adoptions begins—embryos in preservation are subject to two options. They can either be destroyed or donated as a part of Embryo Adoption. The final choice is that of the couple that has successfully undergone the IVF treatment.

Ease of Embryo Adoptions

It may seem like a very tedious process for a couple seeking IVF embryos to request the transfer of healthy embryos from the donating couple. However, the actual process is rather easy. This is because the entire process is regimented. The preference of an IVF-seeking couple to donate the remaining embryos is sought at the time of their IVF counseling.

Similarly, a database of embryo-seeking people is maintained with the infertility clinic. Most clinics are listed with organizations that maintain parallel databases and provide the legal paperwork to ease the process of embryo adoption. These organizations categorize the embryo-seeking couples through a detailed screening process to ensure their viability for embryo adoptions.

Is This Really Adoption?

According to the existing norms, adoption strictly refers to the assignment of a child after birth and not at the embryo stage. Thus, Embryo Adoptions is beyond the purview of existing adoption-related laws. It is bound by legal agreements that are provided by the clinic/organization overseeing the entire arrangement. However, just like conventional adoption, Embryo Adoption provides the adoptive parents complete rights over the child.

Just like conventional adoption norms, it is up to the IVF couple (donating couple) and the embryo-seeking parents to maintain the secrecy about embryo donation. Embryo donations are usually opted for as anonymous adoptions. However, the donating couple may want to reveal their details to the adopting couple or they might instruct the clinic overseeing the adoption to ensure that the adopting parents are informed about the donating couple’s forthrightness in this regard.

Embryo Adoption Success Rate

Similar to In-Vitro Fertilization, Embryo Adoption cannot guarantee results though the general feedback has been impressive. Please note that the success rate of this alternative is largely dependent upon the method of preserving the embryos. Usually, two-to-four frozen embryos are systematically thawed for every transfer cycle undertaken as a part of embryo adoption.

The thawing process can cause embryo fatality. Statistics indicate that just about two-thirds of the frozen embryos are able to survive the freezing/thawing process. However, this is still an appreciable percentage since it is aimed at using embryos that would have otherwise been wasted. Upon implanting the thawed embryos, the pregnancy success rate is at about 31%, which is reasonably good when compared with other assisted reproductive technologies.

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