Saturday, April 10, 2010

Embryo Adoption/Donation Program-CANADA!

Access to Thousands of Frozen Human Embryos now Possible Through Canada's First Open Embryo Donation Program
HAMILTON, ON, April 9 /CNW/ - Canada's first open embryo donation program has been launched by Beginnings Family Services, a not-for-profit registered charity providing compassionate pregnancy support services, infertility counseling, and adoption services to clients since 1985.

"Embryo donation addresses a major dilemma for many Canadians who have completed in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments," says Beginnings Executive Director, Kerry Vandergrift.

IVF has resulted in thousands of unused frozen embryos remaining stored in fertility clinics across Canada. Couples completing IVF treatment are faced with a dilemma - what to do with their remaining embryos. Until now, options were limited to having their embryos destroyed, leaving the embryos stored indefinitely, or donating their embryos for medical research.

"Now there's another option," says Ms Vandergrift. "Beginnings has launched an Embryo Donation Program giving couples the opportunity to donate their remaining embryos to infertile couples hoping to become parents. This altruistic donation offers embryos a chance for life, and hope for thousands of infertile Canadians.

Embryo donation is not adoption or surrogacy. The couple donating the embryo selects the recipient couple. The recipient female carries the embryo to term and becomes the delivered child's birth mother. Importantly, the Beginnings Embryo Donation Program is based on 'openness' which involves ongoing communication and contact between the donor parents and the recipients, including the child.

Beginnings believes openness is most beneficial for the child. Ms Vandergrift explains, "An open approach allows the children to maintain a relationship with people important in their lives. Parents and children have access to information regarding the child's cultural and genetic origins, as well as to any siblings they may have from the donor family."

Beginnings provides professional services for the Embryo Donation Program including: registration, comprehensive recipient assessment reports and screening, openness education, profiles and posting, consultation and inter family meetings, referrals for legal advice and fertility clinic embryo transfer service, administration and follow-up, covenant agreements, and support over a lifetime for children and families across the country. Costs are comparable to or less than most domestic private adoptions and parallel the rigorous recipient screening process, education, consultation, preparation and support for on going open relationships. Beginnings offers financial assistance to those in need.
Potential donors and recipients may learn more about the Embryo Donation Program by visiting the Beginnings website at

For further information: Media Contact: Peter Reesor, Public Relations Consultant, Beginnings Family Services, Work: (905) 648-9967; Inquiries: Beginnings Family Services, (905) 528-6665, Toll Free: 1-877-528-6665, Cell: (905) 512-9655


  1. This is HUGE and FANTASTIC news! Thank you, Lord for saving these frozen babies! Wow!

  2. I just wanted to comment on the Canadian embryo donor program that you mentioned in this post… while it is the first of its kind in Canada, the cost to use their program is equal to that of one IVF cycle ($14,000), all supposedly “non-profit” and that doesn’t include the cost of transfer. As a couple who are pursuing direct embryo adoption after 2 failed IVF cycles, this is absolutely not within our reach… the rules for embryo donation, at least at our clinic, are that a couple has to have failed IVF twice in order to even be allowed to use donor embryos. That means that even if we had a match through this agency, we’d still have to do 2 IVF cycles just to be able to get to a frozen embryo transfer with the donated embryos. Most clinics in Canada do have an embryo donation program, altho they are not as popular as egg donation seems to be, most probably because clinics are not allowed to ask patients about embryo donation (even tho they fill out a form saying what they will do with their embryos once they are finished) because it is viewed as “coercion” on the part of the clinic. The clinic cannot approach the couple about donating their extra embryos… the couple has to do this on their own and thus why I believe there are so many abandoned embryos out there. The program at our clinic has a 3 to 4 year wait so we have been pursuing direct donation, with a couple who will directly donate their embryos to us without using an agency. We have been lucky enough to have an opportunity placed before us, which we will be pursuing in the fall.

    I guess I just wanted to point out that while it seems like a great idea that we in Canada now have an “embryo donation program”, in all honesty it’s not something that most couples will be able to afford with the rules put in place by the clinics that will be doing the transfer. From the perspective of many of my fellow IVFers, this isn't actually a blessing at all because it is simply out of reach.

    Anyways, I have just discovered the wonderful world of embryo donation/adoption blogs and am very glad to have come across yours! Thank you again for being willing to share your stories.