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Has anyone used donor embryos and had a successful pregnancy? What
clinic did you use? Does anyone have experience with California ivf fertility
I donated my eggs through Pacific Fertility in San
Francisco. They were wonderful and the couple I donated them
to got pregnant. I know I was not on the same side as you,
so my recommendation may not be of use, but they truly were
amazing on my end of the deal.
anonymous due to nature of message
We are in the middle of a donor egg cycle with California
IVF in Davis for a donor egg. Their donor embryo program is
fairly unique and had we not gotten some unexpected funding
from my parents to pursue a donor egg, we definitely would
be in a donor embryo cycle with California IVF.
Overall, we are very pleased with our experiences at
California IVF. They have great doctors and first rate
embryologists. Everyone who works there is very nice and
Our only criticism of them is that there is some level of
disorganization in the practice. For example, we had to
request our bill a couple of times and by the time they gave
it to us, there were not enough business days to get the
money transferred to the right accounts to pay them by their
own payment due deadline. The bill also contained an error
which it took them a month to figure out. There were no real
consequences to us for these problems but given that
infertility is stressful, not having to deal with their
disorganization would have been less stressful. Also, while
the doctors are very good (much better than the typical MD)
at explaining what they are doing right now, they don't
always provide you with information about the future steps
in the protocol. For me, because I like to know what is
going to happen, this also added some stress.
As I said before, overall, we have been very pleased. The
donor embryo program might also be a bit different both
because the cost is fixed and because the procedure has
fewer steps for you (no egg retrieval, no sperm samples, and
no worries about egg or embryo numbers). They give you time
with the MD to ask questions at every visit and they are
responsive if you call the office with questions. I would
recommend thinking about your questions ahead of time so
that you can make the best use of that face-to-face time
with the MD.
Best of luck,
optimistic donor egg recipient
I have two kids from donor embryos, and I couldn't be
happier. Infertility is such a painful time, and if you're
like me, you've been through the ringer (literally). I've
done practically every procedure known, including surgery,
IUI, IVF, Chinese medicine, acupuncture.
What worked for me, finally, when nothing else would, is
donor IVF. If you have done IVF, it seems like just the
next logical step in treatment (and slightly easier since
you don't have to do the first half).
It is much more expensive, since you are now paying for the
donor time and expenses (which is, I believe tax deductible
as medical expenses-check on that). It's such a great gift
that donors are doing, I'm so glad we live in such a time.
My donor cycle, that I did with RSC, was about double that
of a regular IVF. Most of that was in donor fees. I went
through a private agency in SF for the donor.
A friend who did a donor cycle with Pacific?, did a ''share''
with the embryo bank, where she got half the embryos and
the ''Bank'' got the other half, with split costs. The risk
is that if it doesn't work, you have no ''second chance''.
It did work for her, and she has a healthy baby.
In my cycle, I was able to have some embryos to
cryopreserve. That gave me an opportunity for my second
child. The ''frozen embryo transfer'' cycle costs were
negligible (when compared with the full IVF cycle).
I know two other families that did donor cycles, and all
ended up with lovely babies. If you really want to go that
route and can afford it, I highly recommend it.
Love my babies
WE have two children birthed by me with a donor embryo.
It's been great and I highly recommend it. We even gave our
left over embryos to another family who now have a two year
old son. WE visit when we can.
We are a lesbian family from the East Bay interested in
adopting embryos for one partner to carry and both partners
to raise. The fertility clinics have differing views on the
legal requirements but all have said the timeline is much
faster if you locate your own embryos rather than get on
their lists. All of the resources online are religious-based
and seem not to support alternative families. Does anyone
have any advice how to get this process started for a
non-traditional family in search of locating
frozen/cryopreserved embryos for a private donation/adoption?
I think this web resource would be a good place to ask questions and get good
advice and support:
Good luck on your exciting journey!
I'd suggest contacting the local mom's clubs for multiples
and asking if you can post a request. Women belonging to
these groups have a higher chance of conceiving through IVF
and will likely have embryos in a freezer that they will
eventually have to dispose of. Some might be open to giving
them to someone else, as the alternatives are destroying
them or donating them to research. I caution you that it is
difficult, once one has actually managed to create those
embryos and transform them into toddlers who are busy
trashing your house, to contemplate their potential full
siblings being raised by another family. On the other hand,
if their egg donor kept on donating, or if one's husband at
one point was a sperm donor in grad school, one knows damn
well that there are half siblings out there trashing
somebody else's house. A bit of genetic drift is simply the
reality of assisted reproduction. Good luck. One would hope
that there are, however, embryo banks that are not run by
faith based institutions, esp. as HHS during the Bush
administration used taxpayer money to fund them.
I found one online site that faciliates locating embryos
that, despite its name, does not appear to be religiously
affiliated, and does not discriminate on the basis of
I work with families in public adoptions (adopting
children from foster care) although it's not related to
embryo adoptions I do have some suggestions.
To begin with I would suggest that you contact Our Family
Coalition. They're a non-profit organization for LGBTQ
families; they have monthly meetings for prospective
families, panel discussions, potlucks... It will give you
an opportunity to hear from all types of service providers
in the non-traditional adoption/parenting world. You will
also meet other families, some who are embarking on the
same path, this is extremely helpful.
Secondly you will need to consult a lawyer. Emily Doskow
is one such lawyer who spoke at a recent OFC panel in
Oakland. I don't know her personally; I just know that
she's co-written a NOLO book on the topic and seemed to
have a lot of information, and a good reputation. Her
number is 510-540-8311
Best of luck!
RSC Bay area now has an embryo donation program if you
haven't talked to them - they are in Orinda and San Ramon.
There is also a website called Miracleswaiting.org that has
a ton of info and allows you to post a profile. Note that
most donors do not post profiles but join and look for
recipients to contact so do not be put off by the lack of
donor profiles. One thing to think about is if you want to
be anonymous or known to the donors. The clinics tend to be
anon. What you talk about with the religious orgs. is known
as embryo adoption and most of them are coming from a
pro-life stance and looking at the embryos as life. They
require 2 parents under the age of 40 and a home
study...etc. You probably want to look for embryo donation
(the adoption term is used when the embryos are viewed as a
child). I hope you are able to find embryos. It's a
wonderful way to build a family.
Lastly...if you are really
having a hard time locating embryos you could look into
doing a shared donor egg cycle or doing a cycle in another
country. It may not be that much more expensive given the
legal work needed for embryo donation.
A friend of mine adopted embryos from a Christian
organization. I know that it was not an inexpensive or
quick process. They had to go through (and pay for) a home
study and they also had to wait to be selected by a donor
family. Then, of course, there were the medical costs for
the frozen embryo transfer. I'm not sure of your reasons
for wanting to adopt embryos but, if you instead opted for
donor sperm (and donor eggs, if needed) you might find the
costs fairly comparable plus you would have way more
control over the process. You could pick the donors,
rather than wait around and hope for someone to pick you.
Good luck with the process
Has anyone in this community successfully placed their frozen
embryos with an adoptive family? I've done some research online
and all the agencies I was able to locate are Christian and seem
to screen prospective families based on religious criteria. We're
not Christian, and we're put off by the anti-stem-cell research
agenda that these agencies promote. What I'm hoping to find is a
secular, non-profit group that helps families decide what to do
with their excess embryos once they've chosen not to pursue any
more pregnancies of their own.
Hi. I don't have any specific answers for you, but have encountered the
same frustrations when exploring embryo adoption. In my case, however,
my husband and I are interested in looking into the idea of adopting an
embryo ourselves. When I did some preliminary research, I also found
that the whole concept is fraught with political, religious and moral
overtones that really don't play any part in my motives at all. We have
one daughter by a successful IVF, but we simply don't have the resources
to try again for a second child. When I spoke with my infertility
doctor about this, she said that individual offices (like hers) do
embryo adoption procedures, but it's usually a matter of matching a
couple in her practice, who have no hope of using their own genetic
''material'', with another successful ex-patient who has indicated their
interest in donating their extra embryos. So you might want to just call
around to a few IVF clinics to see if they accept donated embryos and
facilitate the process. Have you already talked to the clinic that is
storing your frozen embryos?
I have an aquantance who adopted her embryos through Pacific Fertility
Clinic. I don't have a lot of info but they were all clients I believe.
I would check with your clinic.
Gee, I could have written your post! I don't really know where to send
you to find the answer, but I wanted to say that I am in the same boat.
I would think that your RE could help you. You might try wherever you
have your embryos stored and ask them for advice about where to donate.
And stay away from those snowflakes people!
If a secular, nonprofit organization exists that facilitates embryo
donation, I'd love to hear about it. We're in the same situation as you
(and many others; there are currently upwards of 600,000 frozen embryos
in storage nationally). We're currently working with Diane Michelson,
an adoption attorney in the Bay Area who also works with embryo
donation, but have only just started the process. You can find her
I'm not currently a member, but I think that www.resolve.org will also
have information on embryo donation, and possibly can connect you to
people who've already donated anon
Hi -- didn't see the original post, but think I got the gist of it from
the responses. I recently found a website, called miracleswaiting, that
allows people who have embryos and people who want embryos, to post
messages. It remains anonymous unless you want to connect with someone
and they want to connect with you. We have embryos, and after the
posting, I received a large number of responses from very nice people
who were having an even harder time conceiving than I did! There's no
''snowflake'' edge to the site itself, although some of the responses I
got were maybe slightly ''snowflakey''! We are now close to a contract
with a couple who actually live 10 minutes from our house, but who I
doubt I would have met otherwise.
Hope this helps -- good luck.
glad I found the website
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