Embryo Donation vs. Adoption

Although embryo adoption is sometimes used interchangeably for embryo donation, they do not mean the same thing. There are important differences to note between embryo adoption agencies and embryo donation agencies, which we explain in this post. At Donor Nexus, we offer embryo donation cycles. If you are seeking embryos available for adoption, we encourage you to learn more about the differences between embryo donation and embryo adoption before choosing which one is right for you. 

The Donor Nexus Embryo Donation program is ranked among the top in the world 

Embryo Adoption and Embryo Donation: The Similarities

First, we will outline the major similarities before we begin to look at the differences. Whether you are using donor embryos or adopting embryos, both cycles are similar to traditional adoption in that you have no genetic link to the child. However, you still have the ability to carry and deliver the child. You act as both the adoptive mother and surrogate mother, and you have control over the prenatal environment of your baby. Essentially, embryo donation and embryo adoption both offer a less expensive and quicker alternative to traditional adoption.

The Differences Between Adopting Embryos and Using Donor Embryos

Although embryo donation and embryo adoption are similar in many ways and sometimes you will even find the two terms used interchangeably on fertility blogs and forums, there are important differences to consider when choosing between an embryo donation and embryo adoption program.

First, let us define adoption and donation:

  • Adoption: The act of one who takes another’s child into their own family, treating them as their own and giving all the rights and duties as if it were their own child. A juridical act created between two persons certain relations, purely civil, of paternity and filiation (1).
  • Donation: The act by which the owner of a thing, voluntarily transfers ownership and possession of the same, from himself to another person, without any consideration, a gift. The donation is not perfected until it is accepted, which is requisite to make the donation complete.

Cost, Timeline, and Process Comparisons: Embryo Adoption vs Embryo Donation

Based on many interactions with intended parents who were confused by the differences between embryo adoption and donation, we have created a simple breakdown to help patients and potential patients better understand each option.

How Much Does Embryo Adoption Cost?

The average price for embryo adoption is in the range of $12,000 - $15,000. Additionally, the required home study cost ranges from $2,000 to $3,500.

How Much Does Embryo Donation Cost?

At Donor Nexus, our affordable Donor Embryo Cycles begin at just $13,200 USD.

How Does Embryo Adoption Work?

As stated above, adoption involves taking a child as your own. Rather than receiving a gift or accepting ownership of embryos, embryo adoption recognizes each embryo as a child. Embryo adoption programs involve the donor parents selecting the intended parents that will receive the embryos. As an intended parent, you may post an ad on a website about yourself and your partner. 

Many embryo adoption agencies require couples to complete a home study, which is a comprehensive family study conducted by a state licensed adoption agency. Additionally, a legal contract is drafted between the donor and recipient parties.

It is not uncommon for embryo adoption agencies to have more exclusive requirements for the recipients. Many embryo adoption agencies are founded on religious principles and require that the recipients are a married heterosexual couple.

How long does the Embryo Adoption process take?

With embryo adoption, you can expect a wait of 8-10 months until your frozen embryo transfer takes place. 

How long does the Embryo Donation process take?

Embryo donation cycles do not require as much of a time commitment. Because time is of the essence, our agency offers a No Wait Donor Embryo Cycle to recipients who are ready to grow their families. Typically, patients who choose to use donor embryos often deliver within one year of their first visit.

How Does Embryo Donation Work?

Embryo donation is generally an anonymous cycle that involves patients donating their unused or leftover embryos to their fertility clinic for future patient use. The donations are then facilitated by the fertility clinic. Patients interested in finding donor embryos are able to view the embryo donor profile in an online embryo donor database. Generally, the embryo profiles includes non-identifying information about the mother and father. The shared information typically includes: ethnicity, hair color, eye color, year embryos were created, Embryo Grading, and whether genetic testing was performed. Additionally, some donor embryo profiles even reveal the sex of the baby. If you are seeking gender selection at an affordable price, Donor Nexus has a few donor embryos available that have already had the sex determined by screening. If the sex of the embryo is known, it will be listed in the “additional information” section of the profile. There is no direct link to the donor parents or intended parents, unless requested by and agreed upon by both parties.

What are the Advantages of Embryo Donation over Embryo Adoption?

1. It is common for more than one donor embryo to be available from the same donors, so there's an opportunity for recipients to have more than one child with similar genetics.
2. Recipients can choose the genetic traits they desire by looking through embryo donor profiles offering family history, ethnic, and social backgrounds. 
3. Embryo donation cycles do not involve a home study. 
4. In contrast with frozen embryo adoption, there are not complicated or perilous legal issues surrounding the use of the embryos. 
5. As intended parents, you are the legal guardians of the child and listed as so on the birth certificate.

Get Started Today

One of the most important parts of the IVF process is researching all options to make an informed decision on which treatment program is best for you. Since our establishment in 2012, we have helped many families who were initially seeking an embryo adoption agency.

If you are considering embryo adoption, Donor Nexus’ embryo donation program may offer all the benefits you are seeking while offering a more affordable price, simpler process, and high success rates. In our embryo donor database, you will discover a wide variety of donated embryos. If you are seeking an open donation, we generally have a couple embryo donors who are willing to participate in an open, semi-regular contact, donation. Essentially, if your goal is to achieve a healthy pregnancy using donor embryos while still reaping some of the benefits involved in embryo adoption, Donor Nexus’ Donor Embryo Cycle™ may be able to meet your needs.

If you are an Intended Parent seeking high quality available embryos, Donor Nexus is proud to offer you free access to our embryo donor database. We currently have over 250 donor embryos available. If you are considering using donor embryos, we would be happy to assist you in your family-building journey. Donor Nexus is located in Newport Beach, California, and attracts patients worldwide to participate in our embryo donation program. All of our donor embryos are from previous patients of HRC Fertility who have completed their families and want to help other patients achieve their dreams. Continue exploring our website for more information, register to browse donor embryo profiles, and feel free to contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff if you have any additional questions about the solutions we can offer similar to an embryo adoption agency.

References: (1) Black’s Law Dictionary. 9th Weslaw, Eagen, MN, 2009. Retrieved from http://thelawdictionary.org/adoption/ (2) (2016). Retrieved from http://legal dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/donation

Get in Touch

We are always here to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to start your journey!