Interview With Kimberly Tyson From Snowflake Embryo Adoption

WHAT IS EMBRYO ADOPTION?

In this episode September hosts Kimberly Tyson, director of an embryo adoption program called Snowflakes.

Kimberly talks about embryo adoption, what it is and how it is done. She talks about how through the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program she is able to get embryos from couples who have extras and place them with families who would like to adopt.

She talks of the advantages of embryo adoption over traditional adoption. She also narrates success stories of children born that have been made possible through her program.

Kimberly breaks down the costs of adopting embryos and talks about the benefits of using her program for both the donor and the parties adopting.

SHOWNOTES

00:49 – Kimberly jokes that she thinks someone didn’t want her and September to talk that morning because they had problems with communications in the morning.

1:04 – Kimberly is the director of the Snowflakes embryo adoption program.

1:13 – Embryo adoption is when couples who have gone through in vitro fertilization to have a baby and they have had as many babies as they would like to but they still have embryos remaining in frozen storage donate them to another family for reproduction

2:18 – Snowflakes embryo adoption program helps that family with remaining embryos to select a family to gift those embryos to.

2:42 – Kimberly says that frozen embryo transfer cycle is not the same thing as an IVF cycle.

4:22 – Kimberly says that many of the families that are inquiring about the snowflakes embryo adoption program are actually families who have gone through in vitro fertilization themselves already but without success.

5:42 – The program has been a huge success–they just celebrated the birth of the 640th baby.

5:46 – Other families that go to Kimberly’s program are those that have their own biological problem but have had secondary infertility or those who have always wanted to adopt.

7:23 – The adopting families in the Snowflakes program need to complete an adoption home study, they build a family profile that the placing family is going to review.

9:08 – After the families match, they enter the contracts phase.  The placing family is relinquishing all of their parental rights and responsibilities to the adopting family.

9:33 – The great thing about embryo adoption over a domestic adoption model is that you get to carry your baby, you experience pregnancy and childbirth. In every state in  the United States, the woman who gives birth to the baby is the legal Mother of that baby, and her name will go on the birth certificate of the baby as well as the name of the man she is married to.

10:19 – Another fascinating thing about this kind of adoption is that since the adopting mother experiences pregnancy, her hormones naturally make breast milk and she is able to breastfeed her child.

11:52 – Kimberly says that at Snowflakes they get the embryos for adoption by attracting families who have remaining embryos to their program often through their fertility clinic. Perhaps their fertility clinic doesn’t have an internal embryo donation program or if it does the family doesn’t like the anonymity of that program.

17:19 – Kimberly tells a story about a couple who had 3 biological children but chose to have their fourth child through Snowflakes embryo adoption program. The girl (embryo) of the couple had been frozen for ten years and unlike what people believe the babies suffer no defects from being frozen.

17:57 – It costs Snowflakes $2000 to bring in a family with embryos and they charge a fee of $8000 for the adoption program. The $8,000 includes the cost of shipping and coordination. It includes all of the human hands on process for matching. The $8,000 fee includes a lot of things in one of the best practices of adoption is that we keep permanent records of the matches that are made.

20:33 – Kimberly says that from 2016, they decided to select about 35 clinics that they would have their adopting families use for their frozen embryo transfer, and they’re scattered all around the United States. They also have an agreement with Fairfax cryo bank in Austin, Texas, for storing embryos for families at a lower cost of storage costs are an issue for the donor family.

22:33 –  Kimberly tells September that there is no shelf life for the human embryo that has been discovered yet. She tells her that they recently successfully transferred embryos that were frozen in 1989. These are 30-year-old embryos.

23:27 – Kimberly is very passionate about this program because she is very excited helping these babies to be born. She believes these embryos are human beings because every single one of us started out as an embryo and these embryos just need the right environment to grow and live and thrive and survive.  

30: 55 – There are over a million frozen embryos in the USA. While Kimberly can’t impact all of them she is glad she can impact some of them.

MENTIONED BOOKS

  1. Frozen But Not Forgotten – Nate Birt – https://www.frozenbutnotforgotten.com/

Learn More at:

snowflakes.org

embryoadoption.org

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