When you want to have a child, it’s hard to think about anything else. For months or years, you’re completely invested in the pursuit. Then, something happens—you get pregnant. Thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), your dream family becomes a reality.

Once you’ve completed your family through IVF, you’ll have something new to focus on: What will you do with your remaining frozen embryos? At first, you might do nothing. In theory, frozen human embryos can remain frozen indefinitely. Once they’ve been frozen for some time, though, your attitude may shift. After all, frozen embryos are only considered viable for around a decade. This leads many families to consider embryo donation.

Those who aren’t ready to throw out or continue freezing their embryos can donate them to a family that wants to have a child. If embryo donation is right for you, here are five things that’ll help you select the right adoptive family.

1) Think About Your Child’s Life

Before you start thinking about who might adopt your child, think about what you want for them. Envision a day in your child’s life, and skip no details. Think about every facet of their day, from what you want them to be eating to where you want them to be living.

With this plan in mind, you can get really clear about what you want for your child. This will make it much easier to adhere to your wishes when you’re looking for a suitable adoptive party.

2) Look at an Embryo Donation Site 

Once you’ve imagined a life for your child, you can start looking through adoptive family profiles. The National Registry for Adoption (NRFA) allows you to review profiles and learn more about various families that want to provide a loving home for your embryos. You can even filter adoptive families for location, ethnicity, and adoption relationship preferences (open, semi-open, closed, et cetera).

If you find a family that may be a good match, you can contact them directly on the NRFA’s platform and start to form a relationship with them.

3) Plan Out Your Role

One of the most important things about your child’s life is how you’ll fit into it. Are you interested in having an open adoption where you’re somewhat involved in his or her life? Do you want to attend big events, like their birthday party every year? Will it be easier to keep communication to annual letters? Is it best for you and the child if you have no contact whatsoever?

When you donate your embryos, you have the power to decide how much contact you’ll have with the adoptive family and your child. The right adoptive family will understand your wishes and be willing and happy to fulfill them for you. Again, this is why it’s so important to work with the right donation platform. The NRFA, for example, helps you filter out and find families that share your desires for adoption relationships.

4) Ask Last-Minute Questions

Before you finalize your embryo donation, it’s important to circle back around and ask more questions. The right family will appreciate your attention to detail and should be able to provide you with more information.

During this process, no question is off limits. For example, you can even ask the potential adoptive party if they have pets. Are you interested in your child experiencing a cat or dog? Think about the level of education you want for your child. If you want your child to go to college, ask the potential adopting party if they’ll support him or her through higher-level education. Also think about the economic, political and religious upbringing you want your baby to have.

5) Trust Your Intuition

When making a big decision, the value of planning can’t be underestimated. That being said, in addition to logic, you should use your gut. Your intuition can help you make the best decision for your child.

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right. You don’t want to make this decision or a whim or agree to something that doesn’t feel like it should. Stand your ground and talk with families until there’s little doubt in your mind you’ve found the right one.


Once you’ve completed your family through IVF, you’ll need to determine the fate of your frozen embryos. This is a huge responsibility, but it’s not something you have to take on alone. There are professionals who can help you understand your options.

To learn more about child adoption, embryo donation and embryo adoption, reach out to the NRFA.

Mackenzie Martin is a content writer who loves to see her client’s Google search rankings grow. As a writer by day and an author by night, she has an undying love for well-crafted copy and the impact it can have. Connect with her via email: mackenziefreelance@gmail.com

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