Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Creating embryos for EA?

When most of us think about EA we think about embryos that are sitting in a freezer, waiting for a family to rescue them. This is true.....most of the time. Recently I learned of a clinic that has eggs and sperm available and they use those to create emrbyos for couples wanting to do EA. I know that couples that have both MFI and FFI can choose to find a sperm donor and an egg donor but I was unaware that there was a clinic doing it for the purpose of EA.

This is a new concept to me and I am not really sure how I feel about it. In traditional EA you are taking already created embryos and giving them a chance at life. In this instance they are being created for the purpose of being used by various couples. I am not certain if they just create a batch and then use them with different couples, or if they are created for a specific couple or what. But is this the most ethical choice? Or is it the perfect choice as there is not "donor couple" involved?

When a couple chooses to create embryos from donor eggs and donor sperm I don't even flinch. Never have. But this idea gives me pause even though it is essentially the same thing, just the embryologists and RE's making the choices instead of the couple. Because I am not familiar with this process I am hesitant to form an opinion regarding the practice. So I come to you all. What are your thoughts? Have you heard of this? Would you consider it? Are you familiar with the process? Share your thoughts!


  1. When I first heard about this clinic, it really rubbed me wrong that they were doing this. But the more I think about it, the less sure I am about how I feel.

    On the one hand, I guess I don't think creating embryos is wrong, whether you are using your own gametes or not. Every couple that procreates the good old fashioned way is creating embryos, too, and God says it's good to procreate, so the "creating embryos" part really doesn't bother me.

    What I think rubs me wrong is that this seems so close to turning embryos into a commodity. With embryos that are already created, it feels more like matching a couple who needs a child with a child who needs a womb in which to grow.

    In the end, I think I am mostly okay with it as long as they only create embryos for specific couples so that there are no "orphan" embryos. Creating an "orphan," even if "just" an embryo, does not sit well with me. But from what I understand, the embryos are assigned before they are created, so that is good in my mind.

  2. I am very familiar with this clinic. It is where we spent a lot of time and money from 2006 to 2010 when we completed our family. I know these doctors and nurses and embryologists well and they practice with the highest ethical standards in mind. I did go through their embyro donation program before they created the "shared" cycle type program. It was from this small program with HUGE demand that they saw another way to help couples create families. The intent is not to manufacture a bunch of embryos....the intent was to reduce the cost and time it took for many people to have a baby and to offer a solution to a very real problem....Many times people who only suffer from IF but only with one partner are not comfortable using donor material for only half the process. We were that couple...and there are many many out there. It was so much harder for me to imagine a child that was only 1/2 our genes vs none of our genes. It is kind of an all or nothing approach. It never makes someone feel left out or inadequate. I think egg donation and sperm donation is great for people who may not have reservations....but to be honest...our issues were mainly MFI and it was ME...not my husband who was against using just donor sperm...I didn't want him ever to feel like the child was more mine than his and many people feel the same. so...for us...had we not made it to the top of the list for anonymously donated embryos...we would have totally gone this route. AND...they don't do a cycle until they have recipients lined up. It is a shared cycle so the majority of the time all the embryos are used fresh or shortly after since there really is a demand out there.

    I am not one to mess with God's plan too much...I believe life begins at conception so these matters must always be handled with the best of intentions. And I don't know how other clinics operate...but the one you speak of is near and dear to my heart and I trust their intention and care of these little lives they are creating....little lives that are wanted and loved before they ever even make it to the womb.

  3. kd, thank you for sharing your story with us. I like the fact that they wait for couples before creating the embryos. I am not sure if this is the clinic that I heard about or not (heard about it on babycenter.com) but if there are others like it out there I hope that they have the same ethics as your clinic.

  4. Jess...Yes...it is discussed on babycenter. I have seen your posts there too (I am Genoah).


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