I mentioned in my previous post the options we had entertained exploring should another attempt at IUI not work. Originally adoption was our #1 plan B. I did, and still do, feel like adoption is such a wonderful option for those unable, or who have a difficult time, having their own children. We would fulfill our desire to be parents and at the same time, give a child a home. Both pretty amazing "Pros" in my opinion. The "Cons" to standard adoption are (in my opinion); 1. it is just so expensive. Upwards of $20,000. 2. It's a very lengthy process. 3. It can be extremely emotionally taxing. Not that this journey hasn't already been. 4. I would have to forego the experience of carrying a child. As I researched this option, all of the aforementioned continued circling my mind. The Pros were so amazing they really should outweigh the cons and I still do believe the end result definitely does outweigh the concerns but it definitely doesn't negate them. This is when I just couldn't bring myself to take any more steps down the road to adoption. I just couldn't get over the cons.
After having several conversations with my cousin's wife about what our plan b might be, she asked if we had ever considered embryo adoption. I told her we hadn't and I didn't even know what it was. I had heard of egg donors and using donor eggs if you (as the woman) had any issues with egg quality or low reserve but embryo would imply that the egg had already been fertilized. Hmmm... So I started our on yet another research quest. Here is what I learned:
Pro: Embryo adoption is when we (adoptive parents) adopt embryos donated by couples who have (in most cases) chosen to donate any remaining embryos they have after completing their own fertility treatments. (ex. Mr. & Mrs. Smith decide to see a fertility doc for IVF. Mrs. Smith produces 20 eggs and 20 are retrieved. 12 of them are fertilized by Mr. Smith's sperm and grow to become viable embryos. Mrs. Smith has 3 of the 12 transferred and the remaining 9 are frozen should the first round not work. Mrs. Smith becomes pregnant with twins. Mr. & Mrs. Smith only ever wanted 2 children but have 9 frozen embryos that they have the option to destroy or donate. Should they choose to donate, they would then be available for approved adoptive parents. Mr. & Mrs. Smith would also have the option to choose the adoptive parents.)
Pro: As adoptive parents you go through much of the same approval process you do for regular adoption. Background checks are done, finger printing, home study, etc...
Pro: All embryos and parents have been tested for diseases and genetically transferrable conditions.
Pro: After the adoption is complete, you would proceed with the transferring of the embryos (2-3 at a time) and freeze the remaining. The adoptive mother would then carry the child. (Yay!)
Pro: When you adopt the embryos, you get the entire lot. Using the Mr. & Mrs. Smith example, the adoptive parents would get all 9 frozen embryos Mr. & Mrs. Smith donated. If the adoptive parantes chose to transfer 2 the first time which resulted in 1 child. They could transfer a 2nd time and if it also resulted in a child, the children, although not genetically the adoptive parents, they would be genetic siblings. (So cool!)
Pro: The cost of regular adoption = $20,000+ The cost of embryo adoption = less than $10,000 (travel and stay expenses included in the price) This is for the clinic we found in Tennesee, cost may vary from clinic to clinic and state to state. (Woo Hoo!)
Con: There are only a few embryo adoption clinics in the US. The closest to us is Tennessee.
Con: If you have never been pregnant and have never been able to identify whether your difficulty getting pregnant has to do with actually sustaining a pregnancy, there is no guaranty the transfer of these embryos will result in a baby. All the time, money and travel could be all for not. (Eek!)
And that is about all the info I have been able to gather thus far. It is all very exciting though and such a great alternative to regular adoption and/or IVF. Listed below are a couple websites I have found very informative.
National Embryo Donation Center
Embryo Adoption Awareness Center
So as you can see, there are several more Pros (in my opinion) than Cons with the option of Embryo Adoption over regular Adoption. The only MAJOR Con is there is NO guaranty you will end up with a baby.
I hope this has been informative for any one in a similar situation we have been. Even if it gives you that little bit of hope to get you through another couple days on this long dark road, it's definitely worth exploring!