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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Infertility in America: An Infertility Reality Check for the Millennial Generation (pt 1)

Infertility in America 2015 Survey and Report
The Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMANJ) released a new study called Infertility in America 2015: Survey and Report. This 11-page report is packed with interesting information on the current state of infertility in the United States, and we wanted to spend time looking at what the survey found. One of the most interesting things reported is the confidence of the Millennial generation in their ability to conceive a child, even if they wait until they are in their mid- to late-30’s. This confidence simply isn’t backed up by reality.

The group surveyed 1,000 men and women in the United States and found that when it comes to having a child, over 90% of the respondents were confident in their ability to conceive a child when actively trying, and 95% of those surveyed said they are confident they’ll be able to conceive within the next five years. However, many Millennials are waiting until well into their 30’s to begin their families, when their own fertility is beginning to decline. As the study points out, there is only a 20% chance of a 30-year-old woman conceiving each month, and nearly 1 in 8 couples will struggle with infertility. Many of these couples are going to have their confidence in their fertility shattered. Confidence can’t change biology.

Couples who plan on waiting to build their families until they are in their 30’s should do as much pre-planning as possible. Make sure you know the risks and benefits of waiting to start your family, and understand the impact your age will have on your ability to conceive. Make a plan with your partner about what options you’ll consider if you are unable to conceive naturally. Are you willing to undergo fertility treatments? Open to adoption? Want to experience the joy of carrying your own adopted child through embryo adoption? Look at the costs and benefits of each option and ensure you have a plan in place for your future family. You can learn more about options and creating a fertility plan at

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Genealogy – History on a Personal Scale

We all know someone who has been researching their ancestry – perhaps that person is you!

Genealogy is not a new activity. It bridges cultures and eras. At its root, it satisfies basic human curiosity, helping answer questions that are fundamental to every human being:

Where do I come from? [The Past]

Why am I here? [The Present]

What is going to happen to me? [The Future]

So why a blog about genealogy in relation to embryo donation and adoption? Our human desire to find answers to the questions listed above is not only the pursuit of those who are currently living. It will be the pursuit of generations to come. In the 21st century, many people who would like to understand their past will be hindered by a choice their parents made – to use anonymously donated eggs/sperm/embryos.

While medical science has deftly progressed in its ability to help families achieve pregnancy and childbirth, it has lagged woefully behind in paying attention to the social and emotional issues that accompany Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Parents choose the path of secrecy, believing that what others don’t know won’t hurt them.

Shouldn't those who so ardently desire to be parents be equally passionate about doing it in a way that is in the best interest of their child? Open relationships in adoption do not mean co-parenting. They do not mean shared holidays. They do mean mutually agreeable communication style, pattern and frequency.

If you are considering the use of donor embryos, donor eggs or donor sperm please make the time to understand the importance of open relationships in regard to the children you one day hope to bear. Here is an excellent webinar recording: Fearful to Fearless – Understanding the Benefits of Open Adoption.

Learn more at

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where to Find the Right Embryo Adoption Support Network

You know how important surrounding yourself with the right support network is before, during, and after the embryo adoption process. Unfortunately, your embryos don’t automatically come with a group of trustworthy individuals who have been there, done that. You’ll need to do some searching to find a support group that works for you. It may be a formalized meeting, an informal group of new friends, or something else entirely new, but here are some places to start your search:

  • Ask your adoption agency. Many embryo adoptions go through a formalized adoption process, so if you are working with an agency, ask them if they have a support group or know of one you can join. Agencies are full of people with helpful information, and they should be able to put you in contact either with other families or a local meeting.
  • Look online. Thanks to the internet, there are embryo adoption support groups made up of families from across the United States and even around the world. These online groups may have a simple forum where you can read and interact with other members, or they may host online teleconferencing meetings where you can virtually hang out with all of your new friends.
  • Start your own. If you don’t find the group you are looking for, chances are, other people aren’t either. Post a message on Facebook, let your adoption agency know, or start a forum online and bring other couples who are going through the embryo adoption process together. 

The support you need for this exciting, emotional time is out there! Surround yourself with people who have been there or who are currently going through the same thing. You’ll be able to depend on each other for advice, comfort, and celebrate each other’s victories. If you need more information on finding a support network, visit

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Why You Need to Find Support Before, During and After Embryo Adoption

The importance of finding and connecting with a support network during your embryo adoption journey can’t be overstated. This is an exciting, scary, miraculous thing you’ll be going through, and having a support network of people who can relate to the bevy of emotions you are experiencing is invaluable. Connecting with a strong support network will:

  • Help you find answers to questions. Whether you have a question about your fertility cycle, want to know more about the embryo transfer, or just need opinions on sleep schedules, a support network of people who have been through an embryo adoption themselves can be a great resource for that information.
  • Give you a place to vent. Sure, embryo adoption is an exciting event, and you’re ecstatic about the prospect of becoming pregnant with your adopted baby. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some negative emotions involved, too. A support network can help you deal with those emotions, understand they are normal, and move past them.
  • Celebrate victories with you. Often couples going through embryo adoption find that while their friends and family are excited for them, they can’t relate to their embryo adoption journey. They don’t understand the excitement of a successful thawing process or going through a successful transfer like fellow embryo adopters will. A support network will understand how much these small victories mean to you. 

Whether you connect with people in person, over the phone, or through the internet, finding the right support network of people will make your embryo adoption experience even more special. If you’d like to learn more about how to find a support network for your embryo adoption journey, visit

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New FDA-Approved Test Could Improve Frozen Embryo Transfer Success

While the adoption and use of frozen embryos already boasts a healthy success rate (often higher than that of fresh embryos during IVF treatments), a new FDA-approved test could boost that rate even higher. The director of the Stanford University In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory, Barry Behr, created the Early Embryo Viability Assessment (EEVA) that will help doctors scan embryos created in a lab to help determine which ones are the most viable for transfer.

EEVA will help eliminate subjective opinions of doctors concerning which embryos appear to be the most viable. Without the test, viability was solely based on the opinion of whoever was looking through the microscope. Embryos were examined for rapid and even division, a likely indication of a healthy developing embryo. Instead, EEVA uses time-lapse cameras to watch the development of a fertilized human egg as it develops through the blastocyst stage. The camera takes one picture every 5 minutes for 48 hours, then the data collected is filtered through a special algorithm to give the embryo a grade. Embryos with a higher grade will, in theory, have a better chance of becoming a healthy baby.

The EEVA test has two goals: help eliminate the need to transfer multiple embryos during IVF or frozen embryo transfer and increase the chances of success at a healthy pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby. Unfortunately, this test isn’t a guarantee for pregnancy or a healthy baby. It does, however, give some hope to couples struggling with infertility that their chances of having a baby are getting better and better. If you’d like to learn more about the success rates of embryo adoption, visit

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