Embryo Donation

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."

Dr. Norbert Gleicher

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 below.) 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 always a waiting period for embryo donation.

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 donors 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 infertile patients/couples for such a purpose. The availability of embryos is usually limited and embryo donation does not offer the wide variety of choices that egg donation and sperm donation allows.

We list here embryos currently available for embryo donation at CHR. Please click on the embryo donation ID to view more details of the embryo donors, where available.

Donation ID Ethnic Background Female Ethnic Background Male Number of Embryos Comments
#DE1067 Caucasian (German, Norwegian, Irish, English) Caucasian (Austrian, Hungarian, Polish, Russian) 1
#DE1069 Caucasian (Irish, Scottish, French)* Hipanic (Puerto Rican) 1 *Egg Donor
#DE1070 Caucasian (Polish, Irish)* Caucasian (German) 2 *Egg Donor
#DE1071 Caucasian (Irish, German, Norwegian, English)* Caucasian (Irish, Scottish) 2 *Egg Donor
#DE1072 Caucasian (Italian) N/A 8  
#DE1073 Caucasian (German, Polish)* Caucasian (German, Irish, French)** 2

*Egg Donor

**Sperm Donor

#DE1074 Caucasian (Irish, German, Norwegian, French)* Caucasian (German, Irish, Polish)** 2

*Egg Donor

**Sperm Donor

Please click on the embryo donation ID to view more details

* Denotes embryos created with donor eggs and/or donor sperm, as specified in the Comments column. All other embryos were created with patients' own eggs and their partners' sperm.

Last Updated: December 26, 2016

Additional Resources

TIME Magazine Features CHR’s Embryo Adoption Program In its latest article about embryo adoption, TIME magazine discusses CHR’s unique embryo adoption program, which allows adoptive patients to...


New Video: Embryo Adoption In our latest video from CHR’s YouTube channel, Dr. Gleicher discusses the following common questions about embryo adoption: The cost

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1/3 of women who have been told they need egg donation actually wind up conceiving at the CHR with their own eggs.