Embryo adoption is a more cost-effective IVF treatment

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It’s an option for couples struggling with infertility that’s been around for decades, but embryo adoption is still relatively unknown, even though it’s among the more affordable options.

Elizabeth and Marty Wilson chose embryo adoption and couldn’t be happier.

Their daughter Marly, now five, was born from an embryo frozen for more than a decade.

The Wilsons, married for 17 years, decided to expand their family five years after their marriage.

Elizabeth, 38 at the time, got pregnant with Emily, an easy process.

“No fertility treatments, no issues, normal, she was full term,” she said.

Two years after Emily was born, the Wilsons decided to try for the second baby.

“And that’s where the difficulties started,” Elizabeth said.

After three years of trying, the couple knew their chances of conceiving were slim.

“She was able to conceive a child, there was just a challenge with the number of eggs available,” Marty said.

Elizabeth and Marty first started an online search for traditional adoptions. Then they learned about embryo adoption.

This is when an embryo created for in vitro fertilization is adopted and then transferred to the adoptive mother, who carries the baby to term.

The Wilsons knew this was the perfect fit.

They joined Snowflakes, a Christian embryo adoption program. They match embryo donors with adoptive families.

“What we’ve found is that the longer people keep their embryos, the more likely they are to give them up over time,” said Snowflakes Vice President Kimberly Tyson. “It will amaze you, but in my opinion, it is well over a million frozen embryos.

Tyson says it could also be because fertility clinics don’t tell clients about embryo adoption. She says this form of adoption is among the most cost effective at around $9,000. A traditional domestic adoption can cost up to $35,000.

After months of paperwork and home interviews, the Wilsons were matched with their embryo.

The embryo had been frozen for 18 years.

After a successful embryo transfer, the rest is history.

“After she’s born, she’s part of the family as much as Emily is biologically,” Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth and Marly hope sharing their story will inspire others to keep their options open.

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