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The Embryo Decision
Use, donate, destroy or research?


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#26 HeatherRob

Posted 18 April 2011 - 07:46 PM

what a wonderful post it is so nice to have your point of view. Robert and I hope and pray that if we are ever blessed with embryos that any child we may then give birth to will grow up with the same feelings about the special lady who helped us.

We feel that you have to be open and honest from the very begining, it is the lies that cause the pain.

#27 Lazy Daisy

Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:38 PM

For DH & I, we actually discussed this extensively prior to proceeding with IVF.  We are both very adamant that these little embryos have so much potential that I am certain that I will donate them.

Our DD's are such a blessing and I would love to donate our 4 blasts to another couple who only know the longing and pain for a child so desperately wanted.

This coming May, our embryos will be 4 years old.  We are approaching the 5 year storage date.  We're not 100% certain we don't want another child, so we'll apply to the ITA and extend the freezing period until we make up our minds.

I really hope that one day, a couple somewhere get to start their family from our donation, and look into this little childs big blue eyes and fall madly in love with him/her.

For DH & I, we love those embryos so much that we couldn't see them destroyed.  They have so much potential and we both always said if we didn't use them, we'd donate them.

Everytime the cyro-bill arrives I feel I am closer to reaching this decision.  I feel very lucky that DH and I are on the same page with this.  I can't imagine how hard it would be if we weren't.

Edited for dodgy spelling!

Edited by Lazy Daisy, 19 April 2011 - 07:44 PM.


#28 HeatherRob

Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:47 PM



There is no shortage of egg donors and if I could use an egg donor I would then I would be well on my way to haveing a baby but, I need an embryo and that is where the problem lies.

So many women become attactched to those little ice cells. They think of them as a baby as a child.

Women worry that their children will feel cheated because their mum gave away their brother/sister.

They worry that any child born as a result of their donated embryos will come looking for them and will be angry for being given away or feel like they were abandoned.

An embryo has the potential for life, the potential to be born, the potential to become part of a family.

Children do not think of an embryo as a baby, and as long as they are never lied to and always have all thier questions answered with honesty they are very understanding. You are the one who teaches them about what you have done and why you did it. They wont think you have given away their baby sister/brother, they will think you are very special because you helped a lady to have a baby.

Any child created from donated embryos in my family will be told the truth at an age appropriate time.
I hope to raise the child with the love and respect that would be deserved by the donor angel. They wont feel abandoned they wont be angry. I hope that they would in fact be very gratefull for being given the chance to be born.

I hope I do not ofend any one with my thoughts and oppinions, I mean no harm to any one.
My DH and I respect that others feel diferently and we have no problem with that at all.



#29 Mummytogirls

Posted 19 April 2011 - 10:22 PM

Wow this has really got me thinking..... I fit almost every category!

I was adopted back in the 70's and thank my lucky stars every day that they "matched" me to the most amazing parents (especially my mum). I really think something has to be said about how strong my "birth mother" was at the time, to give away something she went through a full pregnancy, emotionally and physically, and could still give me to other parents who could not have their own children.

Then the shock for me as a 29 year old married woman, to find out my amazing husband had really bad sperm and we will struggle to conceive, exactly the same reason my parents had had to register for adoption in the 70's. However, I have been amazingly lucky that I live in a time when IVF is available and we are about to meet our second daughter in a month's time. We are truly blessed that we are able to have biological children. But I know from my parents that the biological side isn't everything. My parents and I are extremely close and after having TTC issues myself I feel even closer to them, cause I truly understand what huge decisions they made back then.

We also have 2 frozen embryos left..... the hardest part now is what to decide to do with them. My feelings are very strong towards donating (adopting) to another wonderful couple so they can have the same amazing chance that my parents, and my husband and I, have had had to be able to be parents.

For me the biggest decision would be to use a known or unknown couple??? It's not like adopting though, cause the child hasn't been born. The woman still needs the FET to work and to actually conceive and get through the pregnancy. That's the hardest part for me to get my head around 'cause we've had failed FETs before and know how hard that was emotionally, and also had pregnancy complications. I can only imagine how hard that would be to cope with for a couple who have used donor embryos. I would feel so bad for them if the embryos wasn't viable.

So many huge decisions for us all to make in the next few years hheart.gif  



#30 dsl

Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:05 AM

Another one thinking long and hard about this issue.  My husband and I always said we would love to be in a position to donate prior to having our DD.  Now she is here however, I am quite surprised at how much my feelings are now in turmoil about the decision. It doesn't seem as straight forward anymore. I have quite a lot of embryos, as well as a few stored overseas, I really need to think this through.

I am not really sure why my feelings are not clear cut anymore, plenty of thinking and talking with DH to do I think.  What springs to mind however, is that it is not just about an adult's needs anymore (and believe me I get the wanting to do anything to have a baby, if I had the option of giving up a kidney or an arm, there may have been a time when I wouldn't have thought twice about it!),  now my thoughts are more with the potential child.  

I guess since I was lucky enough to finally have the most beautiful baby, I am amazed and more in love than I ever knew was possible.  I guess what I am trying to say is I would be beyond heartbroken to think that another baby out there somewhere was not as loved as my DD.  This may sound strange, and I don't really know what I am trying to say.  I guess I would be so worried that a baby I helped create was unhappy.  I can well imagine some of the torment those parents who were strong enough to give up their babies for adoption must go through.  

The other issue is that the let down and disappointment for the potential parents if none of the embryos worked.  Which given I transferred 26 to have my DD, is likely I guess. I never really knew the reason why we kept failing, could have been my body, could have been the embryos themselves. Despite seeing several specialist and even travelling overseas for help, no answer was ever really found. Most likely scenario was a less than desirable endometrium lining, but only one doctor felt that was the case.

Gosh, can't stop thinking.  If we only have our DD, will she feel she missed out on siblings but there could actually be a 'sibling' out there in the world?

So much to think about.

#31 Jenflea

Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:22 AM

I have 2 frosties on ice and one healthy 1 yr old. I also have no idea what we will do in the next few years. i only ever really wanted one child and I'm really happy with the one I have (except when she's whinging, teething, crying for no known reason...)but I am not sure if I could donate my little tiny snowflakes knowing they are 100% my and my husband's children (potentially). I don't really want to go through childbirth again, I'm already over 35, I had to have a transfusion after my daughter's birth due to 2 haemorrhages  and I also had panic attacks and what I now realise was a mild case of PND in the months after her birth. I don't want that again!
But it;s not just me who has to decide, my husband also has 50% stake in this, or a bit less seeing as I was the one who had the medical procedures, the drugs, the horrible mood swings etc and I'd be the one at home with 2 or more children when some days i can't cope with one!
WHAT TO DO????  Will one decision ever be the right one? is it ever clear cut? I don't think it will be and no matter the decision, part of me will be sad I wasn't doing one of the other options. Life can be bloody hard, can't it?!

#32 Burro

Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:47 AM

QUOTE
My DH has said to me that what if we did donate them, what would we say to them when they turn 18 and find us. What would your answer be if they said why did you give me away? I believe I would be honest and say that I couldn't throw you away, even though I had never met you and knew there was a chance that I would never met you or get to know who are you. I couldn't donate you to science as you would never have reached the potential to be the amazing person you could be. I couldn't try for another baby as much as I would have loved too because there is no way we could have afforded it and because I wanted someone to have the miracle that is you. You are our child and always will be, but you are someone else's son or daughter. You deserved a chance at life.


I don't belong here and don't know what i'd do but - Mrs np - this made me cry.

#33 Mumma2furrykids

Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:13 PM

FROM A CHILDLESS COUPLE

I have a huge smile on my face. After reading everyone’s post, most of you are considering donating your embryos. This is a huge encouragement for couples like us currently facing a childless life. I hope there are more couples out there asking the question …. or at least discussing the possibility of donating frozen embryos to another couple or research.

My husband and I want nothing more than to have a family. We’ve talked about it for 10 years. We’ve done IVF cycle after IVF cycle and we’ve NEVER experienced a whimper of a BFP. We were recently delivered the devastating news we’ll never produce our own children. We’ve just begun digesting and grieving this news and it’s going to take a while to move on. However when we do, we’ll be looking into adopting embryos or searching for donor sperm one day.

Prue, there is no right or wrong decision. Whatever decision you and your hubby make will be the right one.



#34 Mumma2furrykids

Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:16 PM



QUOTE
My DH has said to me that what if we did donate them, what would we say to them when they turn 18 and find us. What would your answer be if they said why did you give me away? I believe I would be honest and say that I couldn't throw you away, even though I had never met you and knew there was a chance that I would never met you or get to know who are you. I couldn't donate you to science as you would never have reached the potential to be the amazing person you could be. I couldn't try for another baby as much as I would have loved too because there is no way we could have afforded it and because I wanted someone to have the miracle that is you. You are our child and always will be, but you are someone else's son or daughter. You deserved a chance at life.


Goodness, This is the most touching post. Thank you





#35 Dr. Sweet

Posted 21 April 2011 - 01:57 PM

It has been very interesting to read the comments to the original post. There is no question that deciding what to do with cryopreserved embryos is a very difficult decision.

As a Reproductive Endocrinologist dealing with infertility patients for over 20 years, my perspective is probably a bit skewed. About ten years ago, I began to perform embryo donations. We were one of the earliest facilities to do so. Many families have been created though the amazing kindness of the embryo donors.

I recently wrote my own blog on the very same topic being discussed here titled, "The Disposition of Cryopreserved Embryos": http://www.EmbryoDonationblog.com/ I would appreciate your opinions on some of my own comments.

Good luck in all that you do.

Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
Founder, Medical & Laboratory Director
Embryo Donation International

#36 Charlotte84

Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE (mrs*n*p @ 14/04/2011, 11:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is such an amazing topic for discussion and one that is readily in my mind.

My DH has said to me that what if we did donate them, what would we say to them when they turn 18 and find us. What would your answer be if they said why did you give me away? I believe I would be honest and say that I couldn't throw you away, even though I had never met you and knew there was a chance that I would never met you or get to know who are you. I couldn't donate you to science as you would never have reached the potential to be the amazing person you could be. I couldn't try for another baby as much as I would have loved too because there is no way we could have afforded it and because I wanted someone to have the miracle that is you. You are our child and always will be, but you are someone else's son or daughter. You deserved a chance at life.


That is so beautiful and it is how I feel.  If we had any to give and if we knew we were done with kids then we would donate them to another couple.  We could not destory them and to us research ultimatly ends in destorying so donating would be the only way to go.  


HeatherRob - if I had one to give you I would give you one! hheart.gif

#37 HeatherRob

Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:04 PM

Thank you to all those who have offered their suport it is very nice to recieve.
I hope you all have a nice and safe easter.

It is for most a very personlal and very hard thing to think about never mind act upon. One thing I have found it that there is very little quality help and suport for those that need it, maybe we need to try and be more open about it, maybe then people can make a more informed choice without feeling guilty about the chioce they make, afterall they have to live with their choce no one else.


#38 DrDC

Posted 03 May 2011 - 09:04 PM

Interesting, fascinating discussion. It resonates with me from a different perspective.
I went through many years trying to conceive, and between my 14yo (assisted conception) and 3year old (surprise) we have adopted our wonderful 7 year old. Somewhat unusually, he has 2 full biological siblings somewhere in this world; so in some way he is a little like a donated embryo. I am so grateful to his birth mother for having the courage to carry though with his pregnancy. Because of her decision, my son has a life and our family has a wonderful character to add to the mix! It is interesting and challenging to think of his siblings "out there somewhere" but the alternative was that HE would not be here at all. I think this is a very similar position to what we've been discussing...SUCH a hard decision, but isn't creating a life so much more wonderful than never permitting the possibility?
I don't envy any of you the decision, but think it's wonderful to see this out for open discussion!

#39 HeatherRob

Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:01 PM

Again I have been asked "why dont you just adopt a baby"
I am sick of being asked that question, there are no babies to adopt there are no little ones to adopt, they take all your money dig into your life tell you what colour knickers to wear but, they dont tell you that you have more chance of steping into rocking horse poo or pulling hens teeth than you have of adopting a child in this country!.
Sorry but, I get so angry about it, these days if some one has an unwanted pregnancey then, they take a pill and it is gone. That is why the only way for some of us to have the family we crave for is via embryo adoption via donated embryos.

Maybe one day we will be blessed,
Maybe one day the third person in our house wont be a house guest.

#40 snowhite

Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:15 PM

QUOTE
My DH has said to me that what if we did donate them, what would we say to them when they turn 18 and find us. What would your answer be if they said why did you give me away? I believe I would be honest and say that I couldn't throw you away, even though I had never met you and knew there was a chance that I would never met you or get to know who are you. I couldn't donate you to science as you would never have reached the potential to be the amazing person you could be. I couldn't try for another baby as much as I would have loved too because there is no way we could have afforded it and because I wanted someone to have the miracle that is you. You are our child and always will be, but you are someone else's son or daughter. You deserved a chance at life.


Another one who was crying while reading this.

We have 2 frosties and donation is something we are seriously considering. You summed up the feelings I had trouble verbalising. Thank you.

#41 Masquerading

Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:24 PM

mrs*n*p - thank you for your post.  Im another with 2 frozen embryos and my DH and I disagree on what to do with them.    Of all the 4 options, embryo donation would probably be the best option and the only one my DH  and I can compromise on, I just wish it was easy for us to do.  This issue of remaining embryos first hit me while we were still in the delivery suite having just given birth to our daughter... and one that has been weighing heavily on my mind since.  Reading your post has helped verbalise what I have been thinking. Thankyou.


#42 Blueskydreaming

Posted 06 May 2011 - 01:29 PM

QUOTE
Again I have been asked "why dont you just adopt a baby"
I am sick of being asked that question, there are no babies to adopt there are no little ones to adopt, they take all your money dig into your life tell you what colour knickers to wear but, they dont tell you that you have more chance of steping into rocking horse poo or pulling hens teeth than you have of adopting a child in this country!.
Sorry but, I get so angry about it, these days if some one has an unwanted pregnancey then, they take a pill and it is gone. That is why the only way for some of us to have the family we crave for is via embryo adoption via donated embryos.

Maybe one day we will be blessed,
Maybe one day the third person in our house wont be a house guest.


I am so sorry Heather. My DH and I were one of the lucky ones that went on to have two bubs after years of struggle and loss. One of the most frustrating things was the "why don't you adopt?" lines. People should do a little researching themselves before dumping this thoughtless line on people who so desperately want a child.

We did not have any embryos to freeze....so we have not been faced with this decision. Best of luck to everyone...those waiting for their precious baby and those about to make someone else's dream of a family a reality.

xxxx

#43 kazzil

Posted 08 May 2011 - 09:10 PM

We donated the remaining 6 embryos a year or so ago. Our IVF cycle was made possible by a generous man who donated his sperm. We are forever thankful to him for allowing us our dream of a family, and have two amazing little people sharing our lives thanks to him.

As a result, it wasn't a hard decision what to do with our embyros. Not only were we not prepared to consider destroying them, but we wanted to give another couple the chance to experience the wonderful journey of parenthood that we have been given. We also wanted to give the embyros a chance at life - just because our family was complete, it didn't mean they needed to be destroyed.

We haven't heard if any live births have resulted from our donation but I am 100% happy with our decision - infact just typing this post has put a smile on my face knowing that another mother may be celebrating her first mother's day today (or may be next year or future years) thanks to receiving an embryo.

Edited by kazzil, 08 May 2011 - 09:10 PM.


#44 anzacgirl

Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:59 PM

This is such a heart-wrenching situation, and really hard to be objective about!

As an adopted child myself, as another poster, it was a really tortuous time being part of an infertile couple, loads of emotions that I thought I had dealt with re-ermerged. I had also been informed that should we need to go through the adoption process if IVF was unsuccessful for us, there would be lots of 'extra' counselling required for me to be considered ready, which made me overwhelmingly angry!

Also, as part of an infertile couple, decisions had to be made jointly on so many aspects of IVF - protocol, storage, which embies to keep, how many to transfer, how many cycles etc. We were always having to discuss embryos, our potential babies, clinically, and yet pre-babies, we were able to make most of the decisions together in a reasonable manner, and keep unified.

Then we were lucky, and had our first baby. Suddenly those cells, those clumpy blimpy clusters we had graded, frozen, assessed became real to us, and those cells were ( or had been ) ALIVE. Far out. Very hard to be remotely clinical after that.

I still felt that I wanted to donate our last frostie ( after our second baby was born, we had one left ) to a couple, my husband could not bear the thought. We could not compromise, it was a complete lock down. Eventually, I did transfer the embie, with full concentration on the cycle, knowing that it was the end of the road for me ( with either FET success or failure ) and it.Was. TOUGH. I felt karmically challenged either way.

My biological mother relinquished me, allowing my parents to be my parents, and how they loved me!, and I them, I felt I should have passed on at least a chance to another couple craving to be parents.

I feel overwhelmingly for those in the decision-making process, and even moreso towards the poster ( Heather ) waiting for an embryo, wanting desperately for some beautiful blimpy cells to burrow down and grow into her baby.

#45 Ms Cranky Pants

Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:07 PM

My DH and I have 3 embryos in storage, and are 99.9% sure that we do not want any more children.

Before our babies were born, we were sure that we would donate the frosties to another couple.  But once our children were born, we realised that those embryos are 100% us.  And 100% our babies potential siblings.  And we changed our minds.  We both feel that if these embryos are to be given life, it would have to be with us.  They should be with us.

This is where the moral dilemma comes into play.

So... after nearly 2 years of talking about it, we finally decided that now our family is complete, we would donate our embryos to research.

I called our clinic and advised them of our decision.  And then I had a call 2 hours later to inform me that nobody is Australia is doing any research at the moment that requires embryos, and that donation to research is not an option.

So now we're back at square one.  We will keep paying the storage fees until we come up with another decision.

It's so very hard to make a decision on this.

#46 HeatherRob

Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:42 PM

hi thankyou for your posts, this isnt my thread, my thread is in the donor section, this is Prues blog so "sorry Prue"

This is nightmare decision for any mother to make. It seems to me that there is a lack of help and suport for mothers of ice babies, yes they are they for you while you are makeing ice babies but, once you have your family and you have thise little ice babies left seems like you have no help at all.
Once you have your family it is a totaly diferent ball game, everything changes your views everything and that it seems is when you need more help than ever to try and find the answer for  yourself.
As much as I want to have my baby, I dont think I would want to be in your position at all.

I wish you all the best with your liitle ice babies and I pray you can find an answer that brings you peace.

#47 ashleylovesben

Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:57 AM

Wow what a tough decision. We are just at the start of our TTC journey so not much experience here.
What resonates is the embyo's will be unlikely to, at 18, come up to you and be furious you gave them away, but be happy at the chance of life.
If their was the possiblity of open adoption, like in the USA, where you get to chose the future parents, get photos and letters, and visits I think it would be a more popular choice. But just giving the embryo's away with no idea if the future parents are people you want raising your biological child, and no idea how that child is...well that would just be too hard for most of us-me included.
I would be much happy with an open adoption for an embryo, even better if a friend or family member wanted them.
What does everyone else think about open adoption for embryos?
(Hope this is concise, on night duty and my brain is a little slow!)


#48 HeatherRob

Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:47 AM

Known donation is an option available as well as anon.


#49 dsl

Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:40 PM

***child mentioned***

I can't seem to stop thinking about this issue at the moment.  As others have said, when going through IVF, not much is said about the possibility of frozen embryos and possible options.  You don't even want to think about it anyway, well I didn't, I just wanted my baby and was going to do anything it took.

I agree, once I finally got my baby, my view changed completely about my frosties. I guess I also need to be 100% sure I have closed the book on trying to have another baby.  Dh and I feel so blessed and lucky to have our one, but sometimes I still think about another.

As for known 'adoption' I do prefer this idea since having my DD.  Prior to this I would have been totally happy with anonymous.  Now my thoughts are more with a potential child, I would want to know they were happy.

Also, I keep wondering how would I explain the situation to my own DD????  

So many things to think about and I keep going round in circles.

#50 HeatherRob

Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:50 PM

Hello to all, I asked my councelor about what help is available to all the women that find themselves in the situiation and that I felt there was not enough help out there.
She advice she gave to me was to contact your IVF clinic, they should (hopefuly) be able to assist you in some way. I think talking to some one about ALL your options maybe of help.
One thing I will say is this, you must be %100 certain that you have completed your family and then wait maybe a year or two after that before you make a final decision.

I wish you all the best with this, it is an almost impossible thing to do.





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