Sorry we’ve been MIA recently…we promise we will try to do better! We’ve been immersed in everything adoption! Adoption is ridiculously expensive and the thought of coming up with roughly $40k is really overwhelming at times. We know it can be done – we’ve already saved and spent more than triple that amount on fertility treatments over the past few years, but it’s overwhelming none the less.
My infertility and now adoption journey has brought me and Google together as one…lol! I think anyone who has been in my shoes can relate. I feel like I’m constantly researching doctors, symptoms, fertility diets, medications, treatments, clinics, agencies…it goes on and on. Plus I can’t tell you how many message boards I stalk (ahem, follow, I mean). I feel like there is this whole underground infertility world that you only discover once you start your infertility journey. It’s like a secret society that no one ever wants to join, but once you do, you’re forever grateful for all the knowledge and support!
If you’re a part of the underground world, embryo adoption is quite common and doesn’t need an explanation. For those of you that aren’t, here’s embryo adoption in a nutshell: after undergoing IVF, couples are given several options for what to do with any remaining embryos. They can freeze/save them for a future cycle, donate them to research, destroy them, OR they can donate them to another couple dealing with infertility. The receiving couple would then go through FET (frozen embryo transfer), if successful, give birth to, and raise the resulting child (or children) as their own. Adoption, but just at the VERY beginning stage of life. Technically it’s not adoption since the embryo’s “change hands” prior to life, but for me (and many others) the terms “adoption” and “donation” are interchangeable.
It’s crazy, when we would go through each IVF cycle we were given the option of what to do with leftover embryos and we always chose to donate them to another couple, but for some reason it never occurred to us that WE could be the other couple! Once this clicked for us we knew it was something that we wanted to try. Although the child won’t biologically be ours, we are excited at the chance to be able to experience pregnancy, plus it’s a fraction of the cost of traditional adoption!
So, where does one find an embryo you ask? Good question. There are actually quite a few places you can go through depending on what you are looking for:
- Your fertility clinic may have its own “bank” of embryos
- Traditional adoption agencies
- Embryo adoption (donation) agencies
- Embryo matching services (kinda like match.com for embryos/waiting families – take the middle man out. Find your match through profiles, have the embryos shipped to your doctor and he/she takes it from there). This is also the least expensive way to go, but you will do a lot of the matching and coordination work yourself.
So once we deiced to give embryo adoption a try, I of course turned to my bestie Google to see what she had to say. I eventually found Miracles Waiting and through them found Reprofit. Let’s get the pink elephant out of the room. Reprofit is located in the Czech Republic. I know. These sounds insane for someone that hasn’t dealt with infertility, but I promise it completely normal, just ask my secret society friends…lol. I had actually heard of and briefly looked into Reprofit after our first failed IVF cycle, but dismissed it at the time because who in the heck travels to the Czech Republic to get knocked up? I so WISH I would have seriously looked into it at the time – as with most medical treatments, the cost of IVF is less than HALF of what we pay here, plus it’s one of the best fertility clinics in Europe! Live and learn! Needless to say, I’ve done extensive research on it now!
I have been working with my coordinator Paloma, with Miracles Waiting here in the US. Through her, we have secured 2 embryos (2 grade a blastocysts to be exact) at Reprofit and we are planning on traveling for the transfer in October! And here’s the awesome part! We can both fly to the Czech Republic, stay for a week, and have the embryo transfer all for way,WAY less than what we pay for the embryo transfer alone in the US! Plus were never able to take our honeymoon after our wedding last year, so this trip will basically be our honeymoon with a day or two off for an embryo transfer (super romantic, I know)!
We are well aware that embryo adoption/donation isn’t guaranteed and that we could be faced with heartbreak, but we feel that for us, right now, it’s the path we want to take. As with any fertility treatment and even adoption, you are taking a big risk, but the possible reward is priceless.
We are still open to and actively pursuing traditional adoption, but have decided while we are saving money that we will give embryo adoption a chance!
And on a completely different note, how cool is it that history way made today when the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision that made marriage equality mandatory nationwide!?!?! #LoveWins