As the days wore on I continued my research into Artificial Insemination by sperm donation. I posted a question on a Facebook group I had connected to for single women wanting to have children about getting pregnant by sperm donation.
My question was about safety. Had anyone made contact with any local sperm donors, what was their experience, did it work?
One of the friends that I’d made through the adoption community responded to me in a private message and asked if I had considered Embryo Adoption.
This was something I’d heard mentioned a few times before over the years, but never really clued in that it was “something”, nor had I thought to consider it now for myself.
She forwarded me an email that the clinic in my province had sent out to her adoption organisation about a year earlier. At her suggestion I made contact with this clinic to see if it was a viable option.
I emailed both the fertility clinic she mentioned and the specific embryo adoption clinic.
I also asked about IUI, because I’d started to wonder if doing an IUI round with sperm donor sperm (frozen) would be easier for me emotionally, than trying to come to terms with inserting some rando’s fresh sperm.
Then I began researching embryo adoption online.
Embryo Adoption is also lovingly referred to as receiving Snowflake Babies, because of their frozen state when you “meet” them. There are whole groups of people who proudly show their photos of their Snowflake babies, and Snowflake children, and some even their now Snowflake teens.
I LOVE this description!! I Love SNOW! And a Snowflake is a magical, beautiful, incredible, natural phenomenon! What a beautiful way to describe children resulting from Embryo Adoption, because the gift of life is also a magical, beautiful, incredible, natural phenomenon!
I connected with a Facebook group that is dedicated to embryo adoption and is based in the US. One of the administrators contacted me in a private message and asked about my situation. I responded and then she told me about her situation.
She and her husband had been trying IVF for 12 years with zero success! Zero. I cant even imagine how devastating that must have been, not to mention the cost. Then at 46 she heard about embryo adoption and looked into it for herself. She connected with a clinic, was matched, and on her first round the embryo imbedded, and she now has an 18 month old girl! In six months or so, she will be trying for baby number 2 at 48 years old!
46 years old and it worked! This was a great story and gave me hope. I was so grateful to her for sharing her personal story.
A day or so later I heard back from the clinic’s I had emailed in my province. They told me that they no longer facilitated Embryo Adoption due to demand far outweighing supply and the lack of resources to keep it going.
They told me that there is only one clinic in Canada right now that does Embryo Adoption and they are in Toronto, Ontario.
The fertilisation clinic did give me information about IUI and the costs, and while it was not too expensive (a few thousand dollars) I decided to sit with that for a little while before considering that path. What they could not answer was whether this procedure would be more effective than the cup and syringe option. A question I had posed in my email to them about cost.
If I was going to pay for it I wanted to have a higher probability of success.
Even in matters of building a family, value for money is important to me!
I immediately emailed the one clinic in Canada that facilitates embryo adoption and asked the question I had asked of the now-extinct clinic in my province.
The response a few days later was positive. Yes, they do work with clients of my age (although the cut off age is 45). Yes, they could facilitate a matching service for me. Yes, they would be happy to set up my first consultation to discuss this opportunity.
I was excited. All of the information I’d read about Embryo Adoption was the best of both worlds; getting to experience the joys of carrying a child from beginning until birth, and the opportunity to adopt.
Until I read their costs.
“Initially, you pay for the registration, consultation and assessment.
Once you are matched, you pay the agency fee and the donor’s assessment fee (there are no fees charged to donors).
There will be some additional fees: legal agreement (about $3000 and payable directly to the two lawyers); fertility clinic fees (about $1500 and payable directly to the clinic) and possibly fees related to the shipping of the embryos between clinics. All in, embryo donation is usually around $10,000.”
That ruled me out, and although I’d only known about this option in any detail for a few days, I felt devastated. And angry.
It infuriates me that fertility things and adoptions (at least domestic) are not covered by our regular government health care. They should be!
It infuriates me more that humans are profiting from good people who only want to have a family. Fertility clinics, Adoption agencies; there should be laws making ALL of them non-profit organisations. It should be mandatory. And, in my opinion, adoption should be free, 100% free to good, loving, healthy families who want to give children a family for life. A family should not have to go into debt, and children should not have to wait while families work out how to arrange the funds to start adoption processes. It is always the children waiting who suffer, either before a family can raise funds because they are without a forever home, or after because their family will be dealing with the debt for many years to come. And I understand families are willing to do this, that shows where their heart is at…but it should still be free.
Anyway, end rant.
As I was reading through the historical posts within the EA group, there was a post from a woman explaining how she had received an embryo match from a family on a page privately.
This would reduce the clinic costs considerably.
There was even a form on that page that you could fill in to express who you are and what kind of match you were seeking to perhaps connect with families who wanted to donate their embryos to you.
This lifted my spirits. If I could cut out the administration fees – over half of the $10,000 estimated cost…um for what exactly? – then I could maybe do this.
A friend suggested I set up a “Go Fund Me” and if I get enough to do it, great, and if I don’t, that’s OK too. I’m not sure if people would back an embryo adoption funding request as much as they back a child adoption, but it is worth considering.
I did just also find that I can claim up to $2400 in fertilisation drugs (once in my lifetime) on my extended health, but not for the procedure itself. So that is something too.
The idea of Embryo Adoption rests well within me. There is no feeling of discomfort with the thought of adopting an existing embryo, in fact, it would be safe to say that I am strongly leaning toward it.
Only the cost is a factor, but if I can find a match on my own and make one go of it for less than $5,000, then I think this is the right direction for me.
I still feel quite squeamish about AI with the cup and syringe and a man from a donor website. I will keep working on feeling okay with this option though, in case it again becomes the only one.
Have you adopted an embryo? I’d Love to hear from you!
Warm smiles and Love,