Embryo Disposition Options
Three options are provided for final disposition of embryos:
- anonymous or directed donation to another couple; for more information, see the Embryo Donation options below
- donation for research, including stem cell research; for more information, see the Embryo Donation for Research option below
- thaw and discard; please contact ReproTech for details
Embryo Donation Options
Now is the time to think about the future of your embryos. The reality of infertility can be devastating, as you well know. For many couples, their only hope of achieving a full-term pregnancy begins with donated embryos.
Of course, continued storage is the first option many couples choose. But at some point, continued storage may not be practical. When that time comes, some couples will choose to thaw and discard their embryos, while some will choose to donate their embryos to help other couples achieve pregnancy.
Once their family is complete, most couples cannot justify the expense of long-term storage, nor can they rationalize thawing and discarding the embryos that were the key to their joy. These are tough choices to make... and for every couple, it is different. That is why many choose what appears to be their best choice...Donation.
Embryo donation is a wonderful gift, but, as you would expect, the steps required go far beyond just agreeing to donate your embryos. Each program has multiple steps and requirements before a donation is complete. Further, not all embryos will qualify for each donation program, the number, stage and quality of your embryos will need to be evaluated as well as the source of the gametes (was a sperm or egg donor used). If considering donation, please call us so that we can review your records and determine if you qualify for our in-house donation program.
ReproTech is available to help facilitate embryo donation for you. We administer an active anonymous embryo donation program in house, meaning once initially accepted to officially start the donation program, you work with one person through the whole process. However, we also facilitate donations through individual clinics as well as national embryo donation programs.
For more information on your options, please click below to expand the section.
ReproTech, Ltd. Embryo Donation Program
Requirements for Embryo Donation through ReproTech, Ltd.
- Donors must have embryos evaluated, for this the originating clinic completes an embryo evaluation form (the donors will need to request this directly from the clinic)
- Donors must complete a notarized Request for Termination of Account and Final Disposition of Embryo(s) form
- Donors must sign a consent to donate
- Donors are required to complete a three-generation medical/genetic history document
- Donors may choose to complete a Donor Physical Exam or elect to waive the exam by completing a waiver provided by ReproTech
- Donors must complete a 30-60 minute phone consultation with ReproTech's consulting clinical social worker
- Donors will be required to complete additional blood testing
There is no charge for these services to qualify as anonymous embryo donors (fees are assessed to facilitate known donations), however donors are responsible for continuing to pay storage fees until donation protocol is complete. If the embryo donors are approved for ReproTech’s Donor Embryo Program, they will be reimbursed for their time and inconvenience or instruct ReproTech to make a donation to a charity of their choosing.
If donor eggs or sperm were used to create the embryos, all must be in compliance with FDA Regulations as well as American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) Standards. If the FDA and/or AATB compliance was not met, the embryos will not qualify for ReproTech's donation program.
Donating to a Friend
Known or directed donations will also be facilitated, however, ReproTech does not provide matching services for known donations. For known donations to occur, the donor and recipient must already have made contact and agreed upon their level of involvement.
There are a few ways donation to a known party may occur:
- The receiving clinic is willing to accept the embryos in quarantine under the donor's name listed at the time of arrival to ReproTech for continued storage. NOTE: The embryos are able to be shipped within one to two weeks or when proper shipping paperwork and payment for shipping fees have been received.
- The receiving clinic is willing to accept the embryos in quarantine as shipped under the recipient(s) name. NOTE: The recipient will need to set up an account with ReproTech and the donors must provide clear documentation of ownership change prior to the embryos being shipped.
- The receiving clinic requires the embryos be shipped with a Suitability Assessment completed by ReproTech. The cost of this assessment ($2,700*) is the donor's responsibility and RTL storage fees will continue to accrue throughout the assessment process.
Donors to a known party must still complete all Requirements for Embryo Donation through ReproTech, Ltd. listed in the previous section.
Although donation to a known party may seem to be a simple concept, please note that in order to maintain compliance with FDA Regulations and AATB Standards, the process does still take time to complete. We believe your time is valuable, and as such, we provide a donation process as easy and efficient as possible.
Donating through your originating clinic (not available at all clinics)
Requirements for Embryo Donation through the Originating Clinic
Contact RTL if you are a current ReproTech cryostorage client wanting to donate your embryos through the clinic where you underwent your IVF procedures.
Many clinics which work with ReproTech for long term storage of their former patients' embryos, also have active embryo donation programs, and prefer to provide donation services "in-house". There are some advantages to this, the biggest being that the laboratory at the clinic should be very familiar with the cryopreservation system used to freeze and thaw your embryos, and thus have the possibility of a better outcome when compared to a laboratory which has not used that particular system before.
While we live in a relatively "transient" society today, donation at the clinic you used does increase the likelihood that any resulting children will be located nearer to you. You may view this as a positive, especially if the donation is an "open" donation and you wish to maintain contact with the recipient(s) and\or children.
As your embryos are being stored in a ReproTech facility and you have a cryostorage agreement with ReproTech, it is best to start the process with ReproTech who will then coordinate the transfer of your embryos back to the clinic for donation.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for storage fees until your embryos are transferred back to the IVF center. Additionally, depending on previous arrangements with the center, you may incur shipping fees.
Donating through various Embryo Donation\Adoption Agencies
Requirements for Embryo Donation through various Embryo Donation\Adoption agencies when your embryos are in storage at ReproTech, Ltd.
It is important for you to contact ReproTech, Ltd. (RTL) first prior to making any arrangements to donate your embryos. A current RTL embryo storage client, who identifies a donor embryo recipient through another agency, must complete RTL’s embryo donor protocol, as stated in RTL’s Embryo Cryostorage Agreement, prior to shipment of the embryos to use by the intended recipient.
Embryo donors are required to complete a three-generation medical/genetic history, have their physician complete a reproductive donor physical examination, sign a consent to donate, complete a 30-60 minute phone consultation with RTL’s consulting clinical social worker, and complete additional blood testing.
The donor(s) must pre-pay RTL for all fees associated with completing donor embryo eligibility determination protocol. If the embryo donors are approved by RTL and the recipients complete the RTL protocol and take ownership of the donor embryos, these fees may be refunded to the donor(s). Additional fees may be assessed by RTL if the donation process is not completed within 30 days of the end of your current prepaid storage period. Those fees are assessed at the rate of $106 per quarter, which is the minimum storage period offered by RTL.
Contact RTL if you have any questions or would like to start the process of donation.
National Embryo Donation Center
Requirements for Embryo Donation through the National Embryo Donation Center when your embryos are stored at ReproTech, Ltd.
It is important for you to contact ReproTech, Ltd. (RTL) first prior to making any arrangements to donate your embryos. ReproTech is able to assist you in determining which programs your embryos may qualify for, as well as eliminate unnecessary or duplicate steps which may occur if ReproTech is not "in the loop" from the beginning.
ReproTech has a good working relationship with the NEDC and has helped to facilitate numerous transfers of embryos to their facility to await qualification for donation.
Embryo donors are required to complete a notarized Authorization to Specimen Transfer and Medical Information release prior to the release of the embryos to National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC).
The NEDC will require completion of (among other consents) a three-generation medical/genetic history, a consent to donate, and additional blood testing.
Additional fees may be assessed by ReproTech if the donor embryos are not shipped within 30 days of the end of your current prepaid storage period. Those fees are assessed at the standard rate of $106 per quarter, which is the minimum storage period offered by ReproTech. Higher potentially infectious fees may apply if a reactive test result has occcurred.
Contact ReproTech if you have any questions or would like to donate your embryos through the NEDC.
Other Programs to Consider:
National Fertility Support Center: http://fertilitysupportcenter.org
Becoming A Recipient of Donor Embryos
Becoming A Recipient of Donor Embryos
There are many embryo donation programs in the US. Some programs require you to travel to a specific clinic or IVF center to be treated, some programs allow you to accept donated embryos and use them for treatment at the clinic of your choosing. Most, if not all, embryo donation programs have long waiting lists to become a recipient of donor embryos due to the scarcity of available embryos.
If you choose to work with ReproTech, you can be assured that you can use the embryos you receive at the clinic of your choosing. Potential recipients should verify that their clinic’s policy allows the use of donated embryos which were created at another clinic, prior to selecting a set of embryos.
ReproTech has a waiting list of potential recipients for donor embryos. For information about wait time to receive donor embryos, contact ReproTech directly.
The fees for donor embryos include:
- $2700 - Donor Embryo Fee (This fee covers the expense to screen and test the embryo donors per American Association of Tissue Bank Standards as well as FDA regulations).
- $250-$500 - Shipping (roundtrip, shipping fees generally range from $250 to $500, depending on the number of tanks used)
Additional fees may be assessed if additional testing is recommended or required. If the donor embryos are not shipped within 30 days, a storage fee is assessed, payable yearly ($400) or quarterly ($106). These are standard fees, however, higher potentially infectious fees may apply if a reactive test result has occurred.
Contact ReproTech if you have any questions or would like to become a recipient of donor embryos.
Embryo Donation for Research
Embryo Donation for Research Options
ReproTech, Ltd., strives to provide our clients with disposition options which both meet the clients' desires as well as providing opportunities for the advancement of science, however the reality is that research facility options are becoming increasingly limited, and some state laws prohibit participation.
There are many factors which must be evaluated when donation for research is considered. While embryonic stem cell research is likely to be in a growth phase over the next several years, due to the likely increase of federal funding, many of the specific requirements for eligibility of the embryos (mainly having to do with how the embryos were created) will remain in place, and thus limit or deny the use of some embryos for stem cell research. In almost all cases, patients wishing to donate their embryos for research will be required to complete specific consent forms approved by the Institutional Review Board of each research facility.
At this time RTL is able to provide only one donation for research option, the University of Michigan's Center for hES Cell Research.
Note that state laws may prohibit patients from participation.
Embryonic Research option:
University of Michigan
Currently only accepting PGD and/or PGS -tested and -affected donor embryos - ALL TYPES. The primary focus of the study is the development of disease affected human embryonic stem cell lines.
The goal of the hES Cell Center is to provide training, technologies, and education in human embryonic stem cell biology.
- We are a tissue culture Core Facility established to maintain hES cell lines, provide quality control and share expertise, protocols, and reagents within the U of M scientific community. The Core will also be engaged in basic research under the direction of the Core Director.
- The Core Facility provides coursework and hands on training in the culture of human embryonic stem cells for faculty, staff, and students.
- Graduate coursework, seminar programs, and an annual symposium have been established as educational opportunities for the scientific community.
- Education of the general public on the facts and potential benefits of human embryonic stem cell research is also part of our goal. The Center participates in community outreach and provides educational opportunities through a variety of programs.
More than 40 scientists are active participants in the Center for hES Cell Research. The research ranges in scope from studies of the fundamental biology of stem cells and the human embryo, to understanding the development of all the organ systems in the body, to therapeutics and bioengineering of tissues and organs.
ReproTech requires documentation of final disposition, including notarized signatures of our patients. When you are ready to make a donation of your embryos, or if you just have questions, please contact us and we would be happy to explain the process and send you the required form.
Currently only accepting PGD and/or PGS -tested and -affected embryos; resulting embryos may not be from donor oocytes or donor sperm. The primary focus of the study is the development of disease affected human embryonic stem cell lines.
Contact RTL if you have any questions or would like to become a recipient of donor embryos.