What do you do if you can't have a biological baby, especially if fertilization cannot take place in your body, but you still want a child? One of the options is to adopt an embryo to be implanted in your womb. Here are four things to note about the process:
It's a Byproduct of the IVF Process
The first thing to note is that embryo donation is only possible because of in vitro fertilization (IVF). There is no other fertilization process that results in embryos that can be donated to other people. In short, the donated embryos are a byproduct of the IVF process.
IVF is a process in which eggs and sperm are harvested from respective donors and then mixed and allowed to fertilize in a laboratory setting. The fertilized cell (embryo) is then inserted into a healthy woman's womb. In many cases, however, the process results in multiple embryos. It is the extra embryos that the biological parents can donate to you if you don't have the ability to conceive.
The Adoption Process is Inexpensive Compared to IVF
Adopting an embryo will set you back anything from $2,500-$4,000. The average cost of IVF, however, is $12,400. This is mainly because, in the case of the embryo adoption, you don't pay anything to the donor. Rather, all you do is reimburse the donor for all expenses incurred in the donation process. Such expenses include things like blood tests, legal fees, and agency fees, among others.
The Relevant Laws Tend To Be State Specific
Most legal issues surrounding frozen embryo adoption are decided by the state laws; federal laws do not apply. Some states have broad laws governing the adoption (meaning interpretation by the court is often called for) while others have relevant specific laws. Therefore, the first thing to do before engaging in frozen embryo adoption is to research your state's laws on the issue.
Government Regards the Embryos as Properties
While you may think of frozen embryos as having life, that is not the government's stance on the issue. Rather, the embryos are considered property. Therefore, if you are "adopting" an embryo, the government regards your transaction just like it regards any other contract involving the transfer of ownership. This means, in the absence of specific laws, the normal contractual ones apply.
Whichever procedure a clinic or donor wants you to follow, it is essential to do everything legally. There are potentially gray areas that you can easily gloss over only to find that you have committed an illegality. The only way to ensure this is to consult a lawyer before beginning the process.
For more information, contact The Law Offices of John G. McGill, Jr. or a similar firm.
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