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ART and Embryo Donation: A Short History

a blog by Stephanie W. Moyers National Embryo Donation Center, April 5, 2012

In anticipation and support of National Infertility Awareness Week, April 22-28, 2012, I’ve put together a condensed but interesting history of assisted reproduction and embryo donation. My guess is that if you’re reading this you’re already familiar with the ups and downs of infertility, but as Paul Harvey used to say, “Do you know the rest of the story?"

The practice of successful human in vitro fertilization (IVF) is now in its fourth decade and has been a blessing to hundreds of thousands around the world by building families where none may have existed before. In many cases, the byproducts of these successes are remaining embryos, preserved in a state of suspended animation, frozen in liquid nitrogen. The current estimate is that there are more than 600,000 of these “snow babies” in the United States.

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