Donor Nexus Frozen Embryo Cycle

 

Donor Nexus offers donated embryo cycles for all patients able to travel to Southern California for 4 days. The donated frozen embryos are stored in our laboratory at HRC Fertility in Newport Beach, California and cannot be shipped outside of the United States. Donated frozen embryos are embryos that were created during standard IVF treatment that were left over after the couple that created the embryos had completed their family. At that point the couple was given the options of destroying the embryos, donating them to research or donating them for use by another couple or individual. Donated embryos in the Donor Nexus embryo bank were donated by the couple to be used by another couple or individual for procreation. Donated embryos are an excellent alternative to adoption but at a much lower cost. The cost of a donor embryo cycle is just $10,900 per cycle, excluding pre-testing.

In contrast to adoption, Embryo Donation is not an ‘open’ process and the donating couples, with rare exception, have elected to remain anonymous. Also in contrast with adoption, there are not complicated or perilous legal issues surrounding the use of the embryos. The intended parent or parents are the legal parent(s) of the child. There is no court-ordered change of a birth certificate or a ‘birth mother’ that can claim custody or change her mind. The demographics of the typical embryo donor couple are also more favorable than those of the typical biological parents of an adopted child. Patients undergoing IVF are more educated and more affluent than the general population. The donating couple was in a stable marital relationship and prosperous enough to afford IVF at the time the embryos were created. They are less likely to have serious drug or alcohol issues than the general public and are less likely to have been incarcerated. The ages of a donating couple most typically are in the 30s, an age by which debilitating mental diseases like schizophrenia would have become evident.

WHY DO COUPLES DONATE THEIR UNUSED EMBRYOS TO STRANGERS?

These are individuals that believe in the sanctity of life and wish to provide their embryos with an opportunity to exist. They are individuals who have been touched by the experience of being infertile and wish to help others conquer infertility.

HOW ARE THE EMBRYO DONORS SCREENED?

All couples undergoing IVF have had negative blood tests for HIV 1 and 2; HTLV 1 and 2; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Syphilis. If we are able to locate the couple, we will ask them to submit blood for a repeat set of these labs prior to thawing the embryos. Most couples will not have had genetic screening. All couples denied having a known history of heritable genetic disease.

HOW MANY EMBRYOS DO I GET?

It depends on the stage at which the embryos were frozen and whether or not they have had full 24-chromosome genetic screening. We will thaw until there is one viable embryo when the embryo is a blastocyst that has been fully screened, two viable when they are unscreened blastocysts, three when they are frozen on day 3 and 4 when they are frozen on day 2.

WHAT AM I PAYING FOR? WEREN’T THE EMBRYOS DONATED?

You are paying for the frozen embryo cycle, which includes all cycle coordination, cycle medications (up to pregnancy test), monitoring at HRC, embryo thawing and embryo transfer. Your fee also goes toward the outstanding storage and cryopreservation fees, administrative costs relating to the creation and maintenance of the embryo bank and embryo bank database.

WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT THE DONATING COUPLE?

The information available is usually basic and somewhat sparse. You will know their basic health information and general physical characteristics. You will know whether they identified and past medical or surgical problems and if they were taking medication. You will know whether they specified any family history. You will know their height, weight, hair color, eye color, skin color and race/ethnicity. You will know their ages at the time that the embryos were frozen. You will know when the embryos were frozen and what technique was used to freeze the embryos (slow freezing vs. vitrification). You will know the stage at which the embryos were frozen and whether they had genetic screening or not. Only rarely are pictures provided by the couple.