The Pros of Cons of Embryo Donation
In vitro fertilization has become far more common in recent years, which has given rise to a corresponding increase in embryo donations. The couples who choose IVF desperately want to have children, and many of them choose to donate their unused embryos to help others in the same predicament. Embryo donation remains fairly rare compared to adoption, but there are several reasons why prospective parents might find it an attractive option.
Embryo Donation Is Less Expensive Than Adoption
The adoption process can be grueling for prospective parents, and it can also be financially draining. The cost of adopting a child in the United States is usually between $15,000 and $40,000 when an agency is involved, and not all of this money is refunded if the adoption does not go through. Embryo donations often involve couples who know each other, so the only costs they face are fees charged by IVF clinics. Embryo donation agencies have started to appear, but the fees they charge are much lower than the costs of traditional adoption.
Embryo Donation Is Faster Than Adoption
The conventional adoption process can be particularly hard on couples that hope to adopt an infant. Couples wishing to adopt a newborn baby face a wait of at least two years, and couples who are open to adopting toddlers face waits almost as long. Thousands of embryos available for donation are being stored in IVF clinics all over the country, which means the wait times for prospective parents who choose this approach are usually measured in months rather than years.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Most of the couples who pursue traditional adoptions would prefer to get pregnant and have a baby naturally if they could. Embryo donation allows couples to enjoy this life experience, and it also gives them a level of control over the pregnancy that they would not have in adoption. When a child is adopted, the new parents can never be completely sure that the birth mother acted responsibly when she was pregnant.
The Risks of Embryo Donation
Speed, affordability, and the chance to experience pregnancy can all make embryo donation an attractive alternative to adoption for couples who want children but cannot conceive, but there are also risks to consider. Not all pregnancies go smoothly, and there is no guarantee that an embryo donation will lead to a live birth. With an adoption, prospective parents can expect a healthy child to be waiting for them at the end of the process.
Donated Genetic Material
Couples may choose donated sperm or eggs as an alternative to embryo donation. Embryo donation may seem the more attractive option because the donated embryos will be healthy, but there will only be a limited number available. Donated sperm and eggs are easier to acquire, and they may also cost less than healthy embryos.
The growing popularity of embryo donation has raised a few legal issues. Prospective parents in states like New Jersey where embryos are considered property should make sure that both parents consent to the donation, and the enforceability of embryo donation contracts is far from certain in some parts of the country. If you have questions about any of these issues, a New Jersey adoption lawyer may provide you with guidance.
Helping Couples Who Want Children
The experienced family law attorneys at Cofsy & Zeidman have helped hundreds of couples to experience the joy of welcoming children into their homes. If you are thinking about embryo donation but have some questions, you should speak with one of our New Jersey adoption lawyers with experience in this area. To schedule a free consultation, you can either call our main Haddonfield office at (856) 429-5005 or use our online form. We also have offices in Woodbury and Philadelphia.