twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Adopting a 'Snowflake Baby'

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Ever hear the phrase, "Better living through science"? I'm sure the thousands of couples who've surmounted infertility through advances like IVF would be inclined to agree.

frozen embryos and baby fetus

Vivian Manning-Schaffel: In the process of IVF, couples harvest and produce many embryos. Those that go unused in the first transfer are cryogenically frozen in case the transfer doesn't take, or as in the case of Celine Dion, the parents would like to try for another child later on. But what happens to those leftover embryos when a family is complete, or the parents divorce?

"You have three choices: You can dispose of them, donate them to science or to another couple," explains Dr. Ashim Kumar of the Fertility and Surgical Associates of California. "With the third option, another couple can adopt the embryo and go forward with the transfer. It's the same as IVF, but the preparation for it is a lot easier, because it requires fewer visits to the clinic. You still prepare the lining of the uterus for the egg, you just don't have to extract the eggs."

This third option, also known as embryo or "snowflake" adoption, is slowly growing in popularity, although it requires wading through a proverbial minefield of legal and religious issues. There's the whole adoption vs. stem-cell research debate -- sort of a science vs. science issue, if you will. And a few prominent snowflake adoption clinics make no bones about their religious affiliation or pro-life stance. In spite of claims against religious discrimination, this staunch positioning may be off-putting to, say, a nice Jewish couple surfing their site for leads or answers.

Karen Roeb, Clinical Administrator of Fertility Miracles, a division of the American Fertility Institute, explains that snowflake adoption is much like traditional adoption -- in theory. "The process is a little easier than adopting a child. Psychologically it's almost the same. You still get to experience the birth. When a donor donates, she gives up all legal rights to any children that are produced -- even the egg. She's not entitled to the child or the embryo."

This could get sticky as some of these snowflake agencies promote an open adoption policy. But if an open adoption is something you're open to, snowflake adoptions can be a great fit. "I had a couple who donated 30 embryos, ten each to ten different couples, and it resulted in three sets of healthy twins," says Dr. Kumar. "It's a huge benefit for couples who want to have more children but can't afford donor eggs. Embryos are being destroyed, and this experience is positive in every aspect."

Just ask one of his clients, a Canadian physician (who asked to remain anonymous) struggling with secondary infertility. After four failed IVF cycles, she discovered Dr. Kumar's embryo donation program and is now 12 weeks pregnant with twins.

The couple is grateful to have found themselves in the right place at the right time, as their experience was far lighter in red tape than many snowflake adoptions. "I don't want to portray our situation as the norm because it's not," she explains. "From talking to other people, their experiences have been a lot more protracted or prolonged. A lot more people go through agencies rather than clinics because a lot of them don't have a lot of embryos. But the legal process can be rather long. There were a lot more steps. There are long waiting lists and home studies. And there's always more demand than supply."

The choice of embryo adoption happened to fall in line with the couple's personal belief system. "When we were doing IVF ourselves, we felt strongly that we didn't want our embryos to be destroyed because we considered them to be life. We wanted to donate them and help a family. It was hard being on the other end of that, but at the same time, we were so grateful there were people out there who were willing to do the same," the mom-to-be explains.

Theirs is a closed adoption at the donor's request. "We were open to the possibility of an open adoption when we started looking at it, but the donors wanted to be anonymous and we were fine with that," she says, clearly thrilled about the prospect of being a mom again. And genetic codes aside, she's completely bonded with her gestating twins. "I thought that I might feel differently in this pregnancy, but I don't," she says. "We've seen the twins on the ultrasound and heard their hearts beating ... they are our children and that's all there is to it."


next: Was Casey Anthony Competing with Caylee?
95 comments so far | Post a comment now
Frankie Forester March 9, 2011, 8:50 AM

I absolutely have to be compelled to frequent this website much more usually, data like this is often laborious to come by.

Phoebe Level March 9, 2011, 10:46 AM

I am having a weird downside I cannot seem to be able to subscribe to your RSS feed. i am using google reader FYI.

Brett Puhr March 9, 2011, 12:47 PM

I have beeing scouring the google for this info and just wanted to many thanks for the post. BTW, simply off topic, how can I get a duplicate of this theme? – Thanks

Jessenia Romberg March 9, 2011, 7:25 PM

This website is very good. How was it made .

Blair Fazzinga March 12, 2011, 12:03 AM

Keep the posting up. I never thought i might find a private that had near identical grasp of worldly knowldege , however, you’re that beacon of hope in humanityI hope you continue to bring your knowldge and enlightenment to the globe and never let your expression be squelched Live strong

Mathew Pockrus March 12, 2011, 2:04 AM

Thank you, I have recently been checking out data about this topic for long time and yours is that the best I even have discovered to date.

Raymundo Binkley March 12, 2011, 9:44 PM

These reasonably post are forever inspiring and that I favor to browse quality content so I happy to find several smart point here in the post, writing is simply nice, thank you for the post

Particia Distel March 13, 2011, 8:26 PM

Cool be looking for updates. cheers

Tamar Legner March 13, 2011, 10:39 PM

I’m so thrilled with the new check of your weblog. Gratitude therefore plenty for keeping it running

Lorie Auala March 14, 2011, 1:06 AM

Your are wonderful This weblog may be so wonderful. I genuinely want any people study it further as get just what you’re saying, as a result of enable us enlighten everyone, this is crucial data.

Joanna Verch March 14, 2011, 4:28 AM

Hello, a helpful browse buddy. Thanks however I’m having problem with ur rss feed. Unable to subscribe to it. therefore anybody else having identical rss feed issue? Anyone who will help kindly respond. Thanks beforehand

Shoe Racks For Closets March 14, 2011, 4:08 PM

Hello there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

Dusty Dymond March 14, 2011, 10:50 PM

This brightend my day so can I brighten yours?

Manuel Grossmeyer March 15, 2011, 1:08 AM

I can’t recommend you sufficient for the efforts and talents for what you have submitted here. There ought to be nobody to be ready to get to the purpose quite you.

Isidro Speiser March 15, 2011, 3:08 AM

Good Day this can be a great article man. Thanks unfortunately i am experiencing drawback with ur rss . Unable to subscribe to it. will anyone experiencing same rss feed problem? Anybody who will facilitate please respond. Thanks

Aliza Plyer March 15, 2011, 7:55 AM

not too long and straightforward to know

registering domain March 15, 2011, 9:09 PM

It is best to take part in a contest for among the finest blogs on the web. I will suggest this web site!

vagas de emprego em es March 16, 2011, 6:38 PM

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

BioBasics March 17, 2011, 2:33 PM

Courtney,I pray that God will remove every pain, and every hurt you have. Lord replace the pain with filling Courtneys heart with love, peace and joy. Courtney you are created in the image of God and God does not make junk. You are very special and loved by God and others. I know you said you did not want help for yours, however I pray God will cause you to open your eyes and hate what you are doing to yourself. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Food Processor Reviews March 18, 2011, 5:34 PM

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement