The fact that hundreds of thousands of embryos are currently cryopreserved (frozen) worldwide has been the subject of many articles in the press and a slew of television programs. Center for Human Reproduction, based in New York, NY, has for years been a pioneer in the concept of embryo donation, in which infertile couples "adopt" embryos donated by other couples who have completed their families. In fact, we coined the term embryo “adoption,” not because we wanted to suggest that the process in itself is equal to the adoption of a child, but because we intended to “personalize” the selection process of embryos produced by another couple through assisted reproductive technologies.
Embryo donation is a great option for single women, and in couples who need both sperm and an egg.
Couples who have conceived with IVF and have completed their families often face a gut-wrenching decision on what to do with their embryos, when still having cryopreserved embryos in storage. We have for years tried to encourage such couples to donate their embryos for "adoption" by others. (See our current supply of available embryos here.) In contrast to most other IVF programs, we are also willing to accept frozen embryos from other IVF programs for this purpose.
Unfortunately, there are never enough embryos being donated and therefore, in contrast to egg donation, there is often a waiting period for embryo donation, especially if you are looking for embryos with specific characteristics.
What is Embryo Donation?
The embryo donation process is otherwise similar to oocyte/egg donation. We ask recipient couples to contact us and describe what they are looking for in an embryo, which allows us to match available embryos with recipient couples. Once a match is made, the cycle usually proceeds quickly.
Embryo Donation Explained
Dr. Norbert Gleicher, on why CHR offers such a rare program.
Center for Human Reproduction also accepts embryos created and stored at other centers for donation. If you wish to donate embryos, please contact us.
Available Embryos for Recipients
CHR's embryo donation program utilizes embryos donated anonymously by infertility patients/couples to help other infertility patients conceive. The availability of embryos is usually limited and embryo donation does not offer the wide variety of choices that egg donation and sperm donation can.
Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned specialist in reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.