Embryo Adoption: What is embryo adoption and how does it work?

For many years, adopting has been a viable option for hopeful parents looking to expand their families and enjoy all the pleasures of parenthood. Adoptive parents can now experience the joys and difficulties of pregnancy and labor with the newest form of adoption, made possible by advancements in reproductive medicine and technology. Through embryo adoption, the adoptive mother can carry her genetically unrelated child and go through the pregnancy and delivery process. Adoptive parents start the adoption process nine months ahead of schedule by adopting a frozen embryo donated by a couple who has undergone in vitro fertilization, as opposed to adopting an already-born child. In this blog, we will understand everything about embryo adoption in detail.
What is embryo adoption?
How does embryo adoption work?
Cost of embryo adoption?
Why choose embryo adoption?
FAQs about embryo adoption

What is embryo adoption?

Embryo adoption, sometimes referred to as embryo donation, is the process by which couples who have undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF) and have extra embryos decide to donate them for implantation to another couple or individual.

Embryo donation is a process utilized when a couple cannot conceive through IVF technology using their own egg and sperm. The reason behind this could be that the recipient’s sperm, egg, or both have issues. Under these circumstances, the couple may decide to adopt an embryo created from a donor egg fertilized with unrelated donor sperm. Even if an individual or couple is unable to become pregnant with their eggs and sperm, they can nevertheless undergo pregnancy and childbirth through this procedure

How does embryo adoption work?

Depending on the agency that adoptive parents and embryo donors decide to work with, the embryo adoption procedure may differ slightly. Here’s an overview of how embryo adoption works:

Embryo donation: When a couple decides to donate viable, healthy embryos to another couple or individual who is having difficulty starting a family on their own, the embryo adoption process officially begins. Parents who have used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to complete their families and have frozen, unused embryos left over are known as embryo donors. These embryos are given to another individual or couple interested in adopting embryos.

Embryo adoption agency: Usually, a couple or individual interested in adopting an embryo goes through an embryo adoption agency. These agencies assist in matching recipients and donors of embryos. Throughout the process, they might offer counseling, legal support, and medical advice.

Matching: The agency that facilitates embryo adoption assists in matching prospective donors with recipients based on several criteria, including genetic compatibility, medical background, and any preferences specified by the parties. There may be options for both open and anonymous donations during the matching process.

Lawful Contracts: Usually, contracts are made between the recipients and the donors of embryos. Prior to the embryo transfer, the donating parents will give up all rights to the embryos, and the contracts will grant the adoptive parents total control over the pregnancy and parental rights after the baby is born. The rights and obligations of each party are outlined in these agreements, along with any financial arrangements and matters about contact between the donor and the adopted child, if any.

Embryo Transfer: After all legal and medical requirements are fulfilled and the matching process is finished, the selected embryos are implanted into the adopting woman’s uterus. You can find more details about Embryo Transfer Surrogacy here.

Pregnancy and birth: If the embryo transfer is successful, the woman might become pregnant and give birth to the child. The process of getting pregnant and giving birth is the same as with any other pregnancy.

Parental rights: The adopting parents are granted legal parental rights over the child after birth. The adoptive parents become the child’s legal and social parents, and the genetic parents (embryo donors) give up any legal claims to the child.

IVF procedures are used to combine donor sperm and egg to create an embryo. The recipient woman will have the fertilized embryo placed in her uterus which will be cared for during her pregnancy and delivery. At that point, the child will be regarded as the mother’s child upon delivery. The same idea that underlies sperm or egg donation is also used here. Donating an embryo is typically done anonymously to respect the privacy of all parties.

Confused between Freezing eggs vs Freezing embryos – which is an ideal method? Read more.
The particular laws and regulations in the jurisdiction you are interested in can differ greatly, so it is imperative that you learn about and comprehend them. Furthermore, bear in mind that laws can change, so it’s a good idea to speak with legal professionals who focus on surrogacy or reproductive law in the particular area you’re thinking about.

Cost of embryo Adoption

The expense of an embryo can vary significantly based on several variables, such as the particular fertility clinic or agency involved, the necessary medical procedures, the legal services rendered, and any other services rendered. Generally, embryo adoption costs range from $10,000 to $18,000. The following general elements may influence the total cost:

  • Medical expenses
  • Agency fees
  • Legal fees
  • Cryopreservation Fees
  • Counseling fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Embryo transfer
It’s crucial to remember that because the legal and medical procedures involved in embryo adoption are frequently simpler than those in traditional adoption or IVF, the cost of adopting an embryo is usually less expensive. Costs can still differ greatly, so anyone thinking about adopting an embryo should do some research and find out the precise costs associated with the clinics or agencies they are considering. It is advised to speak with embryo adoption agencies directly to obtain current, accurate information about their fees and any related expenses.

Know more about the surrogacy cost to help you further.

Why choose embryo adoption?

Individuals or couples choose to adopt embryos for a variety of reasons. The following typical elements could have an impact on the choice to adopt an embryo:

  • Infertility is one of the primary reasons individuals or couples choose embryo adoption.
  • In comparison to many other family-building methods, like adoption or in vitro fertilization, embryo adoption is more affordable.
  • It allows individuals and couples to have a biological connection with the child through the embryo, since the embryos used in embryo adoption are biologically related to at least one of the adopting parents, it enables the adopting parents to have a genetic connection to the child.
  • Some people have a deep innate desire to have children, and adopting embryos is one way to satisfy that need and start a family.
  • Compared to conventional adoption procedures, the waiting time for embryo adoption may be shorter. This is because embryos are already up for adoption and some of the waiting periods involved in traditional adoption may be avoided.
Individuals or couples should carefully consider their reasons, beliefs, and preferences before adopting an embryo. It’s critical to do an in-depth study and comprehend the procedure, including its emotional, legal, and medical aspects. To ensure that your choice is well-informed, speaking with commercial surrogacy agency, support groups, and fertility specialists can be a great resource for information.

FAQs about embryo adoption

What is the adoption of embryos?
The adoption of embryos, often referred to as embryo adoption or embryo donation, is a unique process to donate your remaining embryos to another couple or individual for implantation is a process known as, embryo donation or embryo adoption, for couples who have undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Why is screening required for embryo adoption?
Screening is a crucial step in the process of embryo adoption to ensure the well-being of all parties involved—the biological parents donating the embryos, the adoptive parents receiving the embryos, and the potential child to be born. Screening helps to protect the health of the recipients and the potential child, screening involves testing both the biological and adoptive parents for infectious diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, and other communicable diseases.

Is adopting an embryo a possibility for single people?
Yes, adopting an embryo is indeed a possibility for single individuals. While traditional adoption processes in some countries may have certain requirements or preferences regarding the marital status of adoptive parents, embryo adoption, in many cases, is more flexible.

Are the adopting parents able to select the embryo’s qualities? Sure, in certain circumstances. Adoptive parents may be able to select embryos based on the physical attributes, medical background, or ethnicity of the donors, depending on the specifics of the arrangement.

What is the duration of the process(embryo adoption)?
It will usually take 8 to 9 months from the time you submit your online application until the frozen embryo transfer happens.

How does adopting an embryo affect one’s emotions?
The emotional toll can differ for every person or pair. While some people may find great joy in becoming pregnant and giving birth, others may encounter difficulties because of the particularities of adopting embryos, like having to explain the procedure to their child.

What benefits does adopting an embryo offer?
Benefits include often a shorter waiting period and a lower cost when compared to traditional adoption. In addition, if the embryos are used, the adoptive parents will have a genetic connection and can undergo pregnancy and childbirth.

Is there a legal component to adopting embryos?
Different jurisdictions indeed have different legal requirements. The parties involved in the adoption and donation must have a legally binding agreement in place that outlines parental rights, obligations, and possible communication.


Embryo adoption offers a unique solution for couples who may not have success with other fertility treatments. It allows individuals or couples to experience pregnancy and childbirth even if they are not genetically related to the child. Since embryo adoption is still relatively new, there are still some unanswered legal questions. It is anticipated that embryo adoption will continue to expand and change as laws and reproductive medicine change, much as other forms of adoption have undergone significant changes over time. Before choosing how they wish to expand their families, adoptive parents should carefully consider all of their options and conduct extensive research. Working with a respectable commercial surrogacy agency such as Global Star Surrogacy is essential as we can help you throughout the process and make sure all the procedures are followed legally and offer sufficient protection for all parties through our surrogacy contract.
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