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Terry Hunter, RN @ Carolina Conceptions

Our hope is that you and your partner get pregnant during your first cycle of treatment at Carolina Conceptions. However, many couples come back time and again for multiple rounds of IUI and even IVF. Sadly, some of these couples still do not find success, or may experience miscarriage. At some point, these patients often consider giving up on infertility treatments and begin to consider adoption. If you or someone you know is among this group, don’t give up!

There is one more option you may not have considered, Embryo Recipiency (often known as Embryo “Adoption”). This process is considerably less expensive and less complicated than traditional adoption, and can be an ideal option for couples by providing them with one last opportunity to experience the pregnancy and childbirth stages of parenthood.

In this scenario, there are two sets of couples involved who do not know one another. The first couple are Carolina Conceptions’ patients who feel their families are complete, yet have healthy frozen embryos remaining in storage. They are the embryo donors. This couple makes a choice to donate their remaining frozen embryos (and their parental rights) to another Carolina Conceptions’ couple who has still been unable to achieve their dream of parenthood.

The infertile couple receiving the donated embryos are called “Embryo Recipients.” After discussing the embryo recipiency process with their CC physician, the couple will meet with a clinical psychologist to openly discuss the process of embryo recipiency with a therapist to confirm this is the best decision for their relationship. If the couple chooses to proceed, they put their names on our waiting list for the next available frozen embryo donation. The waiting list varies, but currently, there are 16 recipient couples waiting for embryos to become available (October 2015).

It usually takes about 3-6 months for embryos to become available for a couple on the embryo recipiency waiting list. Embryos are not available for purchase and intended parents cannot choose who their embryos are coming from (other than very basic specifications discussed with their physician, such as ethnicity).

When embryos become available, recipients on the waiting list will be given an anonymous physical profile on the embryo donors. Like traditional adoption, recipients of embryos often do not match donors in physical characteristics. Intended parents can choose if they would like to proceed with the available embryos or not. If they choose NOT to accept the donated embryos for any reason, the recipient couple will move to the bottom of our embryo recipiency waiting list for a future chance at a better match.

If embryo recipients agree to proceed with the available donated embryos, the next steps in this process are very similar to any frozen embryo transfer cycle. The intended mother will go through various medications to prepare her uterus for embryo implantation. The frozen embryos will be thawed and transferred when her body is ready.

If embryo recipiency sounds right for you and your partner, please call our office to discuss with your doctor at 919-782-5911. To learn more, watch a brief video with more information, or email me directly at [email protected]