It’s the very last thing a hopeful couple wants to consider – what to do with unused embryos once a family is complete. With modern advancements in reproductive science over the years, however, as well as the evolution in laboratory techniques contributing to improved success rates year after year, the very real possibility exists where hopeful couples may have unused, remaining embryos after a family is complete.
Choosing what to do with unused, remaining embryos, and the timing with which a decision must be made, is something hopeful parents are asked to address at the beginning of their egg donation journey, documenting these preferences in the egg donor-intended parent legal agreement with their selected egg donor candidate.
Today, there are three primary choices regarding the disposition of unused, remaining embryos, including the donation of embryos to another hopeful parent to have a child, the donation of embryos to research, or the destruction of embryos.
The donation of unused embryos to another hopeful family is a choice some hopeful parents and their egg donors make together. It provides an opportunity to another hopeful family who does not otherwise have the resources to pursue the family-building journey.
The donation of unused embryos to research offers the unique opportunity for embryologists to improve and optimize methodologies in the embryology lab.
The destruction of unused embryos is the third option hopeful parents have to consider, and involves the thawing of remaining embryos and subsequently discarding them.
No matter the path you take, the decision regarding embryo disposition after longing for a family can be a challenging situation, and may require conversation with family and clinic support staff. Once a choice is made, your legal team will document your selection in your egg donor-intended parent legal agreement, and your fertility center will include your decision in your clinic consent forms. Contact us today if you have questions.