A Colorado couple, Bobby and Michelle To, welcomed their son, Alex, three years after he was part of a batch of embryos created and then donated by another couple.
The couple are also parents to 5-year-old, Lathan, who is now a proud elder brother of Alex. Lathan was conceived through In-Vitro Fertilization(IVF) in June 2013. When the couple decided to expand the family and tried IVF again with their own sperm and eggs, it failed. So, they thought of traditional adoption and started considering it in 2017. But that is when they came across an advertisement discussing "embryo adoption." It was an entirely new concept for them, and they thought of looking into it.
The couple refer to their son as their 'snowflake' baby. https://t.co/1nHaJuIl9Z— Yahoo Style UK (@YahooStyleUK) September 3, 2019
“When couples have extra embryos when their family is complete they have a decision to make,” Michele said to SWNS. "They can donate the embryos to other couples, they can donate them to science or they can destroy them."
The process of IVF, most times, yields unused embryos that can be used for adoption or research purposes. The ‘embryo adoption' can be considered a miracle for infertile folks where the potential parents can choose an embryo based on genetics, and after successful implantation, the mother can connect to the child inside her, leading to an optimistic experience.
“I got to experience the bond that comes with nursing and I got to carry Alex inside me for nine months and that was very special,” Michele To told SWNS. The To family underwent the frozen embryo transfer at National Embryo Donation Center on March 2018 and got pregnant in the second attempt, leading to the birth of their ‘snowflake’ baby.
The center boasts that there are up to one million unused embryos stored in the US. Alex was initially conceived way back in March 2016 by a donor couple, but it took him three years to find his way out. The happy momma says, “ It feels a little like Alex was waiting for us, frozen for three years." The parents are planning to be upright and sincere about the whole process and family history with Alex. They are also in touch with the biological parents via e-mail.
This adoption method is very less popular than the alternatives- IUI and IVF. The happy couple is enthusiastic about spreading awareness about it. They said, “A lot of people don’t know about embryo adoption or this alternative route to expanding a family. We didn’t until we saw an advertisement on our adoption agency’s website.” Bobby suggests that a couple dealing with infertility should consider this treatment for growing their family.
They plan to further expand their family by giving Alex a genetically-related brother through the same process. Bobby is thankful to the couples who donate their embryos which turns out to be a gift for parents like them.