Frequently Asked Questions

What is embryo adoption and/or donation?

● Embryo adoption/donation provides hopeful parents with the gift of life in the form of a donated embryo. These embryos are generously donated by couples who have undergone fertility treatments. Their selfless act provides an opportunity for other couples or individuals to fulfill their dream of becoming parents. Depending on the choice of the embryo donor, they may choose to remain non identified/anonymous, have a semi-open, or open relationship with the recipient parents.

What is the difference between Non-Identified/Anonymous, Semi-Open, and Open Adoption/Donation Cases?

- Non-Identified/Anonymous: In non-identified adoption cases, both the donor and intended parent maintain anonymity, with no exchange of identifying information. Our team facilitates the matching process and manages all necessary transfer details, ensuring a seamless and confidential experience for both parties.

- Semi-Open: Semi-open adoptions offer a middle ground, granting donors the option to maintain contact with recipients while preserving certain privacy boundaries. Through our partner platform, EDC Nexus, limited communication is monitored, allowing for updates on medical and lifestyle matters in real-time. Additionally, donors and recipients can choose to communicate through the platform, fostering a connection while respecting individual preferences.

- Open: For those seeking a more transparent and intimate relationship, open adoption cases facilitate full disclosure of identities and contact information. Communication typically occurs through personal emails, and families have the opportunity to meet in person regularly. Our team facilitates these matches, providing both parties with each other's contact details for direct and open communication, as well as registration on EDC Nexus for ongoing support and connection.

What is the first step to donate my embryos?

● The first step is to complete our pre-screen application:
● In order to prevent an automatic denial, we require that you complete the application within 30 days.
● Embryo donation is a process that requires us to obtain your medical records in order to determine if we can accept your embryo donation. We will send a form that you must sign which will allow us to request your IVF records. The sooner the application is completed, the sooner we can request your records and review your donation case for acceptance.

What are the requirements to donate embryos?

● We do not accept abnormal embryos
● We do not accept high mosaic embryos
● We prefer the genetic female or oocyte source to have an age of 37 or less at the time of the IVF cycle. This is a preference only, and we will review all donations on a case-by-case basis to determine if they qualify so do not let this deter you from applying if you were over 37.
● If you did not have FDA labs at the time of your embryo creation, we will require that you have labs drawn prior to your embryo donation.

Personhood Laws Surrounding Embryo Donation:
I/we understand that the state or locality in which the donated embryo(s) are stored by AOK or its agents or the federal government may pass and adopt laws assigning personhood, and all rights associated with personhood, to the embryo (“Personhood Laws”). In such circumstances, I/we understand that AOK may, at its sole discretion, return the cryopreserved embryos or me/us. In such instances, I/we will receive and store the returned embryos in a manner consistent with state and federal statutes, rules, and regulations. I/we agree that AOK and its agents will not be held civilly liable by me/us (or my/our agents) for any action arising under the state, local, or federal Personhood Laws.

Does it cost to donate my embryos to your program?

● No, if we can accept your donation, we will take care of the shipping cost. There is no cost to donate your embryos to our program.

● No compensation is provided. Please understand that embryo donor(s) cannot be compensated for donating their embryo(s).

Will you accept my embryo donation even if I have one embryo?

● Yes, we would love to assist you. Please see AOK embryo donation guidelines for details and next steps to complete your pre-screening form.

What is an embryo recipient?

● A recipient is a person (or family) that uses donated embryos to achieve pregnancy and experience the gift of parenthood through embryo adoption/donation. Embryo donation is a process where couples or individuals who have undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF) choose to donate their remaining frozen embryos to another couple or individual. Recipients match with embryos rather than a fully developed child. The donating family releases ownership of the embryo(s), which is then transferred to the recipient(s), allowing them to experience pregnancy and childbirth. Unlike traditional adoption, where parents adopt an already born infant, embryo adoption/donation enables the recipient parent to carry their genetically unrelated child. It’s a unique way for families to grow and give embryos a chance for life.

What is the first step if I'd like to match with a donated embryo?

● The first step is to get registered in our database as a recipient. For free access, please fill out the form on our for recipients page.

What is the cost to match with donated embryo(s)?

● On average, for a single embryo adoption with FET treatment most families spend between $10,000-$20,000 depending on the adoption type and additional services requested. Our base package starts at $8,500. We would be happy to discuss our exact fees once you have registered as a recipient within our database and we have a chance to discuss your specific reproductive goals. Please feel free to reach out to us by filling out the form on the for-recipient's page and we'd be happy to go over our program details with you.

Do you bill insurance for the embryo matching services?

● No, however, we do offer financing options.

Do you offer Financing?

● Yes, we work with Future Family for AOK lending.

Can I match with embryos if I am using a gestational surrogate?

● Yes, however, you must select an embryo profile that has had all of the FDA required testing.
● Your clinic must also accept the profile that you intend to match with, prior to finalizing the transfer of ownership.

● If you are working with a surrogacy agency, each has their own process, and it is important to find out their guidelines before moving forward.
● There is a medical and legal process that is required. We can help connect you with agencies, and attorneys that specialize in reproductive law.

Do you have an embryologist I can speak with?

We work with Alease Daniels, an accomplished Embryologist and educator. You may book a consultation with her after registering as a recipient in our database, speaking with the AOK team, and selecting a few profiles. The consultation fee is $200, however, when booking use the code: AOK to receive a $50 discount.

What is embryo grading or PGT-A?

● Embryo grading is a process where a trained embryologist evaluates the quality of embryos during fertility treatments. They look at factors like cell number, symmetry, and appearance to determine which embryos are most likely to result in a successful pregnancy. This helps guide decisions for treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and improves the chances of having a healthy baby. However, it is not a guarantee.
● During IVF, doctors use PGT-A testing to check the number of chromosomes in each embryo. They want to make sure the embryos are healthy before putting them back in the uterus for a possible pregnancy. A normal embryo has 23 pairs of chromosomes, which adds up to 46 chromosomes.
● The most widely used embryo grading scale for blastocysts is the Gardner Grading Scale. See ASRM guidelines: Grading Scales | American Society for Reproductive Medicine | ASRM
● Embryos that have not undergone PGT-A have equivalent success rates compared to PGT-A embryos

Can you guarantee that the donated embryo(s) will thaw correctly?

● Over 95% of vitrified embryos successfully survive the thawing process. However, it is important to understand that no process is able to provide an absolute guarantee. We suggest you match with more than one embryo if this is a worry of yours.
● We do accept slow freeze embryos that have a lower thaw/success rate, as we believe all embryo(s) deserve a chance at life. If you match with one of these, please have your lab team review the thaw protocol to ensure they are comfortable with the thawing requirements.

Can I match with an embryo even though I am single?

● Yes, we believe that every individual should have a right to become a parent, and welcome single recipients.

Do you have religious affiliation?

● No

What is the age limit for an embryo recipient?

● Age restrictions will be determined by the fertility clinic with which you are affiliated. AOK does not place an age limit on our recipient(s).

Are you a medical clinic?

● No, we are an embryo donation matching service.
● Act of Kindness Embryo Donation does not perform any medical procedure or give any medical advice. We will always suggest and encourage that you speak with a medical professional for any medical questions prior to completing a match with us.

Do you have a medical clinic that you can recommend?

● Yes, we work with Arbor Fertility which is located in Chesterfield, Missouri. You may learn all about them by going to their website:
● To schedule an in-person appointment: Phone: 314-806-229 Use Referral Code: AOK for a $50 discount on your initial consultation with Dr. Shvetha Zarek. This discount can only be applied for patients that are *self-pay.
● To schedule a virtual appointment: Use Referral Code: AOK for a $50 discount on your initial virtual consultation with Dr. Shvetha Zarek. This discount can only be applied for patients that are *self-pay.
● If you are 45-55 or above, Arbor requires a consultation with your primary care provider (stress test), maternal fetal medicine physician, and a psychological screening. If cleared, each provider will provide you with a letter of medical clearance. Please let us know if you'd like a referral to any of these sources.

Do you ship to other clinics?

● Yes, we can ship to your clinic as long as you have been medically cleared by your provider and they accept the embryo profile you are interested in matching with. We suggest speaking with us and your clinic prior to transferring ownership or shipping embryos. We have an internal process for shipping, and use a third-party carrier, CryoStork. The cost for shipping in the US is: $1,000.00, international shipments will require a quote to be sent. Contact us if you are interested in shipping internationally.

What is EDC Nexus?

EDC Nexus is a unique registry designed to support embryo donors, their families -- and families created through their donations -- by keeping all parties updated on significant changes in medical histories. Members can easily share health-related and lifestyle information, or report changes as they happen, via a concise questionnaire, promoting the health and well-being of everyone connected to this journey. Additionally, EDC Nexus facilitates optional communication through a secure messaging platform to ensure privacy and ease of connection.   

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