As a mother who has completed both embryo and domestic adoptions, I am often asked what the differences are between the two options. While both paths ended in the same wonderful result – growing our family – there are aspects that were beneficial to one or the other. For example, while I did experience pregnancy with embryo adoption, that also came with pain, sickness, and physical recovery. On the other hand, in domestic adoption situations I was not physically affected, but I was not able to contribute to my children’s prenatal environments. Here is a short reference list of the unique benefits of becoming an embryo recipient or adoptee:

  1. Reduced Costs. Often it is lower in cost compared to traditional adoption, egg donation, or IVF.
  2. Reduced Wait Times. The average time between submitting an application to receiving a donation is approximately 6 months, much shorter that the average time to receive an egg donation or complete a traditional adoption.
  3.  High Success Rates. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, embryo adoptions have a national pregnancy success rate of 43 percent and live birth rate of 35 percent.
  4. Take Home Babies. Should a pregnancy result, there is no risk of failed placements or changes of heart after the birth.
  5. Pregnancy & Childbirth. The adoptive mother will have the ability to control the prenatal environment and experience the joys of pregnancy, childbirth and nursing her adopted child.
  6. Maternal Age Non-Applicable. If a woman is experiencing premature menopause, or another infertility condition in which her own eggs are not viable for reproductive purposes, she can still become pregnant with a donor embryo.
  7. Reveres the Sanctity of Life. The discarding of embryos is ethically problematic for some individuals. Allowing these embryos to be used to help create a new life is an alternative to disposal or use in research.
  8. Siblings. Often multiple embryos are available from an embryo donor. This can result in several genetic siblings being born from the same group of embryos. If the recipient does not use all of these embryos – they can be returned to the original donor to be re-adopted out to another family in need.
  9. Medically Safe. This adoption process is regulated by the government and all appropriate disease screening is required by law to protect the recipient.
  10. Legally Safe. Despite the connotations associated with the name, an embryo adoption is actually a transfer of property – not the adoption of a child. Therefore, the donating couple is not legally responsible in any way should a child be produced from the embryo.

Charis Boone Johnson is the Executive Director of The National Registry for Adoption and has received a graduate degree from the hard knocks school of BFN. She enjoys browsing Pinterest, attempting Pinterest projects, and then appropriately posting the results as #PinterestFail.