California IVF Fertility Center | 2590 Venture Oaks Way Ste 103, Sacramento CA 95833 | 530-771-0177

Donated Embryos

For some couples, the option to pursue additional fertility treatments using their own sperm and eggs is no longer a good option. Emotional stress, the high cost of fertility treatments, and the fear of another failure can become too much. Using donor eggs is often a very effective treatment for most patients. Donor eggs in combination with IVF will usually give patients the highest possible chances of having a baby, however, donor egg cycles can be an expensive process. Donated embryos can give patients an alternative to donor eggs and adoption that can be affordable and highly successful.

Extra Embryos after IVF
After a patient, or couple, finishes with their treatments, there may be embryos left over. These embryos can remain frozen for long periods of time. It is estimated there are hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos in the United States and world wide. Many patients find it difficult to discard the embryos, but at the same time they often have reservations about donating embryos to another person. Donated embryos would be genetic siblings to the children the couple already had as a result of their fertility treatments. Options to donate the embryos to research or transfer the embryos to the uterus when pregnancy is less likely to occur, will offer some patients options for the supernumary embryos. While it would seem to be an opportunity to give someone a gift, there are very few embryos available and very long waiting lists of people wanting to receive those embryos. There are several resources for finding embryos that are being donated. These options include the National Embryo Donation Center, Snowflakes, and Miracles Waiting.

Quality of Donated Embryos
Donated embryos will vary greatly in their quality. Couples may have only a few low-grade embryos available and wish to donate them to another couple. Other couples may have many embryos as the result of using donor eggs and having a successful pregnancy. When a program such as California IVF has a high success rate with donor egg cycles, there are often more embryos available for donation. Embryos that come from donor egg cycles will usually offer pregnancy rates that are comparable to the donor egg program. Because of this, California IVF: Davis Fertility Center, Inc. is able to offer the California Conceptions Donated Embryo program. The national average for pregnancy following a donated embryo transfer is approximately 20-35%. We are confident our pregnancy rate will far exceed this percentage and will be offering donated embryos with a refund option for qualified recipients.

What is Known About the Donors
Donors are screened for infectious diseases and we have a health history available. Often times these health histories are not as detailed as ones provided in donor egg cycles. In general, major medical issues and inherited disorders will usually be known, and recipients would be informed before a transfer of embryos would occur. Of course we are never able to fully eliminate the risk of children born with defects, Recipients usually receive a brief summary of the donors in an anonymous donation, but may be able to meet and establish a friendship in open donations. The details of the donation are completely up to the individuals donating the embryos.

Embryo Adoption
Using donor embryos for pregnancy is often referred to as embryo adoption. Donated embryos are not subject to the same legal and social requirements of adoption, and the recipient of the donor embryos will experience pregnancy and child birth for themselves. Though laws may differ between states, usually the birth mother’s name will go on the birth certificate and there is no potential legal challenge to parental rights. While adoption offers many benefits to a lot of couples and the children waiting to be adopted, the process can often be long and frustrating, not to mention expensive. Adoption agencies often have strict criteria including age restrictions and policies against single parent adoptions. Donated embryos will offer most people the opportunity to be parents. We strongly encourage patients to investigate their options fully. It is even possible to have a pregnancy while waiting for the adoption process to continue. Giving birth to a baby and giving another child the opportunity to share in the family is a wonderful idea that we hope more people consider. Meanwhile, the wait for donor embryos continues to build. The Internet is full of postings from women and couples looking for “embryos to adopt”, “embryos available for adoption”, “donor embryo waiting list”, “where do you find donated embryos or embryos available for donation”, and the list continues. The California Conceptions Donated Embryo Program was started in hopes of changing this imbalance. By offering affordable treatments to couples that have often exhausted themselves financially, we hope many more little miracles will happen at our center.

The California Conceptions Donated Embryo Program Using donated embryos from this program offers excellent chances of a successful pregnancy for women who are struggling with infertility and are not getting pregnant with in vitro fertilization (IVF). The California Conceptions program is a donated embryo program that offers success rates of 65%-85% at a lower cost than using a traditional egg donor. Currently three transfers cost $15,000 and most patients will qualify to participate in the guarantee program.  A PGS option is available for $21,000.  All donors who choose to anonymously donate through this program are thoroughly screened for infectious diseases and meet all state and federal regulations. Donors that provide embryos have also been screened for health risks including inherited disorders, mental illness, and other traits that would be undesirable to most parents. It is not possible to avoid all health risks and birth defects, but this is true for any pregnancy. It’s easy to put your name on the list by visiting and applying for the donated embryo program.