Embryo Adoption: Private, Agency or Clinic? – Agency

This month we are exploring the 3 methods you can choose to seek an Embryo Adoption/Donation:

Private, Agency, or Clinic?

It is important to know the benefits and drawbacks to each of these so that you can choose the right method for your individual situation. Every adoption agency and fertility clinic handles this process in a unique way. Some organizations require steps that elongate the process but are intended for your benefit. Private methods of matching will allow you to control the length of the process but puts more responsibility on your shoulders. Some families choose to match themselves with an embryo donor by posting a profile online or networking through personal relationships.

This week: Adoption Agency


  • Homestudy. This screening provides the embryo donor family peace of mind that their embryos are going to a adoptive family that has completed background checks and an extensive interview with a licensed caseworker.
  • Matching. Families provide information regarding their current family structure, economic status, and social and medical history. The adoption agency then works to match them with a family who best meets their criteria.
  • Relationship Management. The families agree upon a mutual level of future communication. The communication may be facilitated by the agency if desired. Historic records of the embryo donation are maintained by the agency.
  • Legal Work & Transportation. The adoption agency procure legal documents for the transfer of property (the embryos) from the donating family to the recipient family. The agency will coordinate with the fertility clinics involved regarding medical testing required by the FDA and shipment of the embryos.


  • Increased Cost. Agency fees can be high (between $8K and $14K), and sometimes do not include legal fees or the actual medical procedures.
  • Increased Wait Time. Extra time must be factored in for the required approval steps, paperwork approvals, and home-study creation.
  • Closed Selection Process. Profiles of potential families/embryos are typically presented one at a time. Most of the matching decisions are strongly influenced by the case worker.
  • Limited Control. The process is driven and paced at the discretion of the adoption agency.

Use A Clinic To Adopt A Frozen Embryo – part 2