Embryo Donation vs. Embryo Adoption: What’s the difference?

August 11, 2023

Different organizations use different words… is there really a difference between embryo donation and embryo adoption??

Embryo donation refers to the act of individuals or couples who have created embryos through in vitro fertilization (IVF) but no longer desire them for their own reproductive purposes, choosing to donate those embryos to another person or couple. The donors give their embryos to others with the intention of helping them create a family.

Secular organizations refer to “embryo donation” to emphasize the altruistic nature of the act, where the donors are giving the embryos without any expectation of financial compensation or legal rights or responsibilities. the term embryo donation encompasses both donating embryos and receiving donated embryos, such that a donor “donates” and an Intended Parent “receives” donated embryos.

Faith-based organizations refer to “embryo adoption” to reflect the perspective that an embryo is the beginning of life, and manage their program according to the principles of the traditional adoption landscape.

Both program types facilitate the transfer of embryos from one family to another, allowing individuals or couples to build their families using donated embryos.

In addition, both types of programs, the alignment of values between the donating and receiving parties can be an important consideration. This ensures that the donors’ and recipients’ beliefs, preferences, and values regarding the upbringing of the child are compatible. The intention is to create a harmonious environment for the child’s future.

If you are considering embryo donation or receiving donated embryos, it is advisable to consult with professionals to provide you with more detailed information about the specific process requirements of each path, legal considerations, financial requirements, and support available as you navigate this new family building approach.