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Adoption finds a new direction with frozen embryos

In Little Rock, Arkansas, and elsewhere in the United States, many women would like to have children but are unable to conceive. Adoption is a frequent choice for the infertile when their natural urge to procreate is not supported by their bodies. Adoption is seen as being more acceptable to the present generation than the past, however being able to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby continues to be a more fulfilling option for some than adopting.

In the United States, about 7 million women are dealing with infertility today. A little-known method exists, called embryo adoption, by which couples who cannot conceive can still give birth to a baby. These embryos are created by couples by in-vitro fertilization. Doctors take the sperm and ovum of the parents and create the embryos in a controlled environment. They are then frozen for future use. In the process, a number of embryos are often left unused. Today, about 600,000 frozen embryos exist in facilities across the United States.

A report from the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center says that, out of all embryos that are frozen, 70 percent eventually are used by the couples they came from. Out of the remaining 30 percent, 8 percent are donated to adoptive couples, another 8 percent are donated to research and the rest end up being discarded. This happens because some couples cannot accept someone else nurturing what could have been their biological child.

If viewed with an open mind, frozen embryo donation and adoption can open doors which were unimaginable before for infertile couples. Family law attorneys can provide couples with more information about the legal ramifications of frozen embryo adoption.

Source:, “Frozen Embryos: A Little-Known Adoption Option,” July 10, 2014

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