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ASRM Information on Embryo Donation

October 20, 2014

From the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) fact sheet on Embryo Donation.

“What is embryo donation?

In the current practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF), some patients may create more embryos (fertilized eggs) than they need. The extra embryos may be cryopreserved (frozen) so that they can be transferred later. However, sometimes these embryos may not be used. These patients have the option to have their embryos discarded, donated to research or donated to another woman to achieve pregnancy.

Who receives donated embryos?

The use of donated embryos may be considered by women with untreatable infertility that involves both partners, untreatable infertility in a single woman, recurrent pregnancy loss thought to be related to the embryo, and genetic disorders affecting one or both partners.

What are the legal implications of donor embryo usage?

Recipients should seek legal counsel from a lawyer specializing in family issues. This lawyer should be familiar with state laws regarding parentage of transferred embryos during pregnancy and after birth. Where there is little legal precedent regarding the use of donor embryos, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that the recipient accept full responsibility for the transferred embryo(s) and resulting children.

ASRM also recommends that the recipient release the donors and the assisted reproduction program from any and all liability from any potential complications of the pregnancies, congenital abnormalities, heritable diseases, or other complications of the embryo donation.

How successful is embryo donation at achieving pregnancy?

Success rates with embryo donation depend on the quality of the embryos at the time that they were frozen, the age of the woman who provided the eggs and the number of embryos transferred.”

ASRM is an excellent resource for reproductive facts. Please check out their patient resources website at https://www.reproductivefacts.org/.

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