Definition - What does Embryo Adoption mean?
Embryo adoption is when an individual or couple donates remaining embryos created for assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures to an adoptive individual or couple. The embryos are then used to achieve pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and to hopefully give birth to a child. Embryo adoption allows the genetic parents to give their remaining embryos a chance at life and for the intended parents to experience pregnancy and the delivery of their child.
Embryo adoption might also be referred to as a snowflake adoption.
FertilitySmarts explains Embryo Adoption
The goal for most fertility procedures is to maximize the chances for a successful pregnancy. This often involves the stimulation and retrieval of multiple eggs which can translate to the creation of multiple embryos (fertilized eggs). If an individual or couple has conceived all of the children they are interested in having, it is possible that they have extra embryos that are frozen and they need to decide what should be done with them.
One option is to allow an infertile individual or couple who might not be able to have children on their own the chance to adopt one or several of their remaining embryos.