Couples experiencing combined infertility may benefit from embryo donation.
Since many people use only a portion of their frozen embryos, they have the option of donating the embryos to others who have been unsuccessful with traditional in-vitro fertilization. In essence, couples have the opportunity to “adopt” their child before they are born.
What does the law state about embryo donation?
North Carolina does not have laws regarding embryos. Instead, the law considers embryos as personal property, and contractual agreements are necessary for the legal transfer of ownership. A contract should remove parental rights from the genetic parents and give them to the receiving parents. Legal arrangements can also release the donors from repercussions if hereditary disease, pregnancy complications or congenital abnormalities occur later.
What are the benefits of embryo donation?
Embryo donation gives couples opportunities that do not exist with traditional adoption or other assistive reproduction options.
- Women get to experience pregnancy and childbirth
- Expecting parents can bond with the baby before birth
- Couples make decisions about prenatal care and maternal health during the pregnancy
- The National Embryo Donation Center estimates that biological parents no longer want over 1,000,000 frozen embryos. Embryo donation gives them a chance at life.
- Legal ownership occurs before the implantation of the embryo, so the receiving parents have legal rights to the baby before birth. As a result, their names appear on the original birth certificate.
- Embryo donation may be less expensive than in-vitro fertilization, surrogacy or adoption.
Embryo donation should be considered by prospective parents when considering adoption or other assistive reproduction treatments. Its unique benefits are not available with the other options.