Since Embryo Adoption isn’t very common, I thought I’d outline the general process for you guys. Our adoption agency, Nightlight, also does domestic and international adoptions. There aren’t a lot of laws regarding embryo adoptions, so they try to keep the embryo adoption process as close to a regular adoption as possible. The home study, education requirements, and matching process are all very similar to any other domestic adoption.
One big way that an embryo adoption is different (other than that I will carry & birth the baby) is that we will be adopting all of the embryos that are genetic siblings. Some couples have 3-4 embryos up for adoption, and some have a lot more. Any embryos that we don’t give birth to will be transferred back to the genetic family and put back up for adoption.
Here’s a very general outline of the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption process:
Application Phase – Pretty self-explanatory, we filled out an online application expressing interest in the Snowflakes Adoption Program and were emailed a larger packet of forms. Once we had those forms all done, we moved on to the home study.
Home Study – This step involves at least three meetings with a social worker in our home, a home inspection, reading a couple books and several articles, attending webinars, running state and federal background checks, getting certified in infant CPR and first aid, writing out autobiographies, getting personal references, and a lot of other paperwork.
Matching Phase – Nightlight sends out our family profile (created in the application phase) to a prospective family. If they approve us, we are sent their profile for approval.
Contract Phase – The embryos are legally transferred to our ownership, since the law doesn’t treat them as children.
Travel – The embryos could be stored anywhere in the country, so once they’re legally ours they’ll travel to our clinic here in Louisville.
Frozen Embryo Transfer & Pregnancy – The embryo is transferred into my womb, and about two weeks later we go back to the doctor for a pregnancy test. After that point, the pregnancy proceeds like any other.
Post Adoption – Six weeks after the baby’s birth, we’ll have one last meeting with the social worker, and we’ll continue to send regular updates to the Snowflakes office.
It generally takes 5-13 months to get to the travel phase of the adoption. So far we’ve been in the process for almost 4 months, and we’re just starting our home study. We can definitely use your prayers as we try to get everything checked off and move on to the matching phase!