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Candidates for Embryo Donation

If you’re considering donor embryos, you’ve likely tried various assisted reproductive technologies, undergone hours upon hours of workups, or possibly multiple miscarriages. No matter what you’ve tried, you and your partner’s gametes don’t seem to connect. If you still dream of giving birth, donor embryos may be an option for you.

Is a Donor Embryo Right for You?

Candidates for donor embryo include:

  • Couples in which both partners have untreatable infertility
  • A single woman with untreatable infertility
  • Women with recurrent pregnancy loss from factors not associated with uterine or implantation problems
  • Women or couples with repeated IVF failures
  • Couples with genetic disorders affecting one or both partners
  • Couples who would prefer not to go through a long, expensive process of adopting a child
  • Women or couples who would like to go through experience of childbirth, but do not mind if the child is not genetically related to either partner

Known and Anonymous Donor Embryos

Two types of embryo donation are practiced: known and anonymous.

In known embryo donation, the donors usually help select the recipients based on factors that may include religion, ethnicity and education. Some donors want to maintain contact with the family, to follow their genetic child’s path. Couples choosing donor embryos often must decide whether they want a known or anonymous donor. Most use an embryo matching service or fertility clinic.

In anonymous embryo donations, a fertility clinic often matches the donor and recipient based on qualities such as race, ethnicity and religion. The donors never know if one of their embryos developed into a baby.

During the embryo donation process, the donor couple and the recipient should have separate attorneys. Both must sign informed consent documents covering areas such as relinquishment, parental rights and legal guardianship, as well as liability.