Thursday, February 26, 2015

Embryo Adoption (and or donation) is an Option

MyFox Houston published a news story today titled Embryo adoptions give some couples hope, in which they revealed that there are 600,000 embryos in storage across the country because of in vitro fertilization efforts, or IVF." The story then featured a family who has two biological children, one traditionally adopted child and one child in which the family "adopted a donated embryo." The adoptive mother carried the donated embryo to term. The story discussed embryo adoption at length finding that many families are donating their leftover embryos to families they have chosen (through an agency) who cannot conceive but who are able to carry the embryo to term or use a surrogate to do so.

This particular type of adoption is much more affordable that the traditional adoption and a lot less risky in that the genetic parent cannot decide to parent once the child is born. This is a huge plus for families who are adopting and who want to experience the beauty of pregnancy for the fraction of the cost of a traditional adoption. There are several agencies that assist the genetic parents with finding families for their frozen embryos. These agencies, like Nightlight Christian Adoption, refer to the embryos as "pre-born children".

There are no laws that govern the adoption of embryos and really, use of the term adoption in this particular situation, is a misnomer. The agencies use this term because they treat the process just as they do in traditional adoptions of a child. In traditional adoptions, the child must be born first before the genetic/birth mother can relinquish her rights to the child. In embryo situations, the embryo is treated like property and thus can be contracted or deeded away to another person or entity. In such situations, it is very important for the genetic parents and the adopting parents (receiving parents) to consult a knowledgeable attorney to review the contract and to understand the process. We at the Law Office of Jennifer R. Cochran can help you with that. We review the contract with our clients and advise them as to what their rights and duties are with respect to the contract and also the adoption process. Let us help you grow your family today, whether through traditional adoption, surrogacy or embryo "adoption".