To increase the chances of getting pregnant, many couples choose to do IVF (in vitro fertilization) and may then choose to create multiple embryos for multiple cycles, freezing the ones they decide not to use. Currently, there are more than 600,000 frozen embryos in storage across the United States. Some families decide that after they have the number of children they want from IVF, they want to donate the embryos they have left to families who are interested in receiving embryos. Some people do open donations and some do closed donations. Openness in embryo donation typically progresses over time, which is a bit different than traditional or domestic adoption, in which young mothers may lose interest in keeping contact with their birth children over time.
Many programs provide training for both the donors and the receiving families, even with the issues that may come with explaining to their children how they were born and how to determine boundaries. Many providers encourage parents to begin talking to the children early in life about how they arrived in their family to give ample time to determine what kind of terms are best to use. When children hear their birth story early in life, and over and over again, it becomes something they come to know and understand, and is not as shocking when talked about later on in their lives.
For many couples, if they have premature ovarian failure or diminished ovarian reserve, or if the male partner has a sperm-related health issue, they may chose to use an egg donor and a sperm donor, or they may chose to use an embryo donor in order to create the family they have been wanting to create. If you have any questions about IVF with egg donation, sperm donation or embryo donation, feel free to call us anytime – we are always happy to help.