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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Why don't more clinics educate patients?

I was reading a post today about EB on a mommy forum. They were discussing a news article or something and as I read the responses I was shocked at how many people, even those with stored embryos, have no idea about ED/A. One claimed that she would never donate her embryos because you don't get to choose the embryos and what if they were not great parents. Having not done IVF this is not something that I am familiar with. I know that clinics will give you paperwork and such and also have you decide what happens to the embryos in the case of death or divorce, but do they educate you on your options for donation? Do they tell you that there are several ways in which to do this? Or do they encourage only donating to their clinic if they have a program?

It saddens me to think that there may be many, many embryos that could be donated to waiting couples but people are just not aware of their options. Did your clinic educate you on your options? Is there any literature available to clinics to pass onto couples to help them decide? If not, then maybe this is something that we, the ED/A community could work on.


  1. My clinic is pretty good about educating patients about this option since they have their own donor embryo bank. They do specialize in egg donation cycles as well, and I think couples who have benefited from gamete donation are more likely to donate their embryos since they have experienced the blessing of donation and want to pay it forward a little bit.

    At the other clinic I've worked with, they told me they haven't had much success with convincing patients to donate embryos, but I've also heard that some of their doctors poo-poo embryo donation, so I'm not sure how much effort they give it. It makes me sad, really.

  2. Okay, so I open this can of worms...

    Many/Some clinics (not all) do not share about EA for several reasons. These are conclusions based on me calling and speaking to different clinics and gathering information--speaking to embryologists, to REs, and to genetic counselors. I concluded that the reasons could very well be:

    1. There is more money to be made from a fresh IVF cycle than an FET.

    2. With a fresh IVF/ET there is the opportunity to have "extra" embryos to be frozen for a later date for the IVF family. In other words, a yearly storage fee of $200+ to keep the embryos frozen year after year after year. Let's add up how much doctors make on this?

    3. They just don't know much about it (or anything about it in some cases), and aren't really interested in learning about it.

    Now, this is certainly not the case in all RE clinics, but the statistics of a reported 500,000+ frozen embryos in our country in 2009 to a reported 600,000+ frozen embryos in our country in 2010 does show that there is a "business" side to all of this. And "this" are living human lives.

    Embryo Adoption is needed in this country. Though those 600,000+ babies are not orphans, we as Americans need to examine the situation and work to make some changes. These are babies. Children. Frozen.


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