Requirements for Donating Families
The requirements for donor families are very simple. We have an application form, and medical history forms for you to fill out. They were designed to be easy to fill out, with you in mind. We know you are busy. We need a few pictures, and some information about yourselves in the form of mini-bio to be able to find a match for you. There are also some FDA guidelines that have to be followed for each set of embryos depending on the date created, and whether or not there were donors involved, (sperm donor or egg donor). We can help you to evaluate the embryos that you have for donation. It is extremely rare, that an embryo would not be eligible to be donated for adoption. Please contact us and we will talk with you about your remaining embryos. We are happy to discuss this with you. You are under no obligation to donate your embryos unless we find a family that you like, and approve of. We will provide you with family profiles to view and approve before ever making a final decision about donating your embryos. We will walk you through the entire process, step by step.
Requirements for Adopting Families
1. Marriage Requirement: Couples should be married three years or longer. We can be flexible in certain cases. We are happy to talk with you about your specific situation.
2. The Home Study: Couples are required to complete a home study by a licensed social worker. Home studies include back ground checks, financial stability verification, some basic counseling (regarding raising adopted children), a home visit by the social worker, letters of recommendation written on your behalf, and additional information that may be required to complete your home study. We have two social workers available to do home studies, anywhere in the United States, and Canada. If you have already completed a home study, it is very likely that we can use it as long as it is current.
3. Adoption Classes: We recommend couples attend classes on raising adopted children. These classes are put on by adoption agencies in your local area. There are also books available our social workers can share with you, and well as webinars you can view that we can email to you. We want you to have made some efforts at educating yourself about issues surrounding adoption. The bottom line is that all children must be informed that they were adopted. Secrets are not healthy, and we will help you to be able to talk about this with your family, and child.
4. Counseling Sessions: We have a counselor available, if you and/or your spouse needs one. Unresolved grief and loss can be devastating, and we want you to have worked through these emotions as best you can, so you can move forward to new things coming in your life. We do understand the loss of children due to miscarriage, and the loss you experience, due to failed fertility treatments. Just the adjustment to not being able to have your own biological children takes some time to process. We understand, and our social workers and counseling staff can be of help to you to work through the disappointments and challenges of infertility.
5. Options in Adoption: Discussing with your spouse the kinds of contact with another family you might consider. The social worker that does your home study will have good insights, and education, for you before you make a decision. The options are:
- “Anonymous” or no contact between families.
- Contact through Embryo Adoption Services of Cedar Park: letters, pictures, first names only. (We favor this as a great place to start!)
- Totally open adoption. You may socialize as families at times, etc. (We hope this can work out with every family eventually, if possible, as it benefits the child)
This is an important step. It will affect the life of the child for the rest of his or her life. The decision can evolve and change, but obviously has to be agreed upon by both families. Your position on this vital step will determine the families that you will have the potential to be matched with.
6. Letter from Doctor: The woman will need a letter from her fertility doctor stating that there are no contraindications to pregnancy, and that her health would support pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. We do not necessarily have strict age limits (it is generally 48), but health is a very important factor, and needs to be verified by a letter from the woman’s doctor. Your PAP and yearly exam should be current with your OBGYN. The letter can be mailed to us directly, or you may obtain it, and send it on to us. It should be on your fertility doctor’s letterhead, and not be over a year old.
Number of Embryos to Transfer: We value the life of every embryo, and we ask that the number of embryos thawed, would not exceed the number you are willing to transfer. When thawing and transferring embryos, we ask that no more embryos be transferred than what the woman would be willing to carry. We require a minimum of embryos be thawed prior to transfer in order to make sure every embryo has a chance at life. We will be able to be specific after you are matched with a set of embryos. Our contract allows you to transfer no more than two embryos at a time. Embryos can still “twin” after transferring. This means you can transfer two embryos, and still have 3, or even 4 embryos implant. This would be very rare, but it is why we ask that at no time would more than two be transferred. We will have a lot more information about this. You and your doctor can work out a thawing and transferring plan together that is right for you and your family, and the embryos.
7. Your Family Profile: You will be asked to make a book about yourselves. We have you make them online with a photos service such as Shutterfly. We have books to check out as samples, and we also have a “book mentor” that will help you with the books. It is a wonderful way to tell your story to a placing family that is considering your family as potential parents for their embryos. We will also have your write letters, to a potential family that will go along with the books. We will have more information on how to go about this in our information packet.
That’s all there is to it! Embryo adoption is an exciting journey, and we will be here to help you, with every step along the way!