I wanted to talk a bit about what we have gone through and have had to complete to get to this point and make this adoption official. I am going to point out that legally, the receipt of embryos is not considered adoption. Because an embryo is not legally classified as human life, the law states that an embryo is not adoptable. With that said, many embryo donations are completed in the way that a traditional adoption would be completed as many individuals and organizations do believe embryos are life. This is obviously a very controversial subject and I won’t get into details but I will say that Aaron and I do believe in the sanctity of the life of these embryos. They were conceived and have grown to beautiful five day old embryos. We do not view them as balls of cells but as our children. We choose to call our receipt of these embryos our embryo adoption and have completed a process as similar to traditional adoption to honor and represent the life that these embryos possess.
In a traditional adoption one would usually undergo a home study. A home study is a process done by a social worker to see that you, as adoptive parents, are able to care for a child or children. The process is usually very lengthy and very costly. Because of the ability to save both time and financial resources, rather than completing a home study, we underwent a process similar to a home study, a dossier. A dossier looks for and ensures the same things that a home study would plus a couple extras. Our dossier consisted of the following…
A 360 degree home video tour, inside and out, including surrounding neighborhood and tests of all carbon monoxide/fire/smoke alarms
A FBI criminal background check on both partners
-This required each of us to be fingerprinted at the police station. I felt like such a criminal ; )
A psychological examination of both partners
Four written references from non-relative sources
A letter from a physician stating normal health, life expectancy, and physical ability to care for children for both partners
A letter from a reproductive endocrinologist clearing Sara able to carry a pregnancy to term
-This required various blood tests at different days throughout the month to test natural hormone levels and also an infectious disease panel. I believe they took 8 vials of blood total, five of those being in one day! I also underwent a Saline Infused Sonohystogram to ensure I had a healthy uterus capable of carrying a child. Dr.’s words, “YOU HAVE A BEAUTFIUL UTERUS!” Never expected to hear such words, but it was certainly music to our ears. : D I even got to check it out on the screen for myself. Next time I’m looking at that screen, we will witness our baby/babies being put in their cozy home, where we pray they stick and grow and develop for the long haul!
All of this needed to be completed and cleared before we could sign our embryo donation agreement. While completing and gathering all the contents for the dossier we began to work on our embryo donation agreement. With the help of a wonderful attorney, we began to draft the agreement between T&K and ourselves, regarding the donation. This agreement is a legal document that covers many things that we have agreed upon with T&K. Essentially, the agreement relinquishes T&K of any parental rights, responsibilities, etc. The embryos are transferred to us from them through this agreement. Once the agreement was signed by us we sent it off for T&K’s attorney to review. Everything looked great and she was actually impressed with how well the agreement had been written. T&K signed and those little snowflakes officially became ours.
The day we signed our agreement
The next step was to get those little ones from Georgia to Indiana. This was actually a simpler task then I expected. We had some paperwork to fill out with both our fertility clinic and the clinic where the embryos were currently being stored. We notarized the paperwork and sent it to the necessary places, paid some shipping and handling fees, and then our clinic handled everything from there! Our snowflakes shipped overnight, traveling for their first time ever and arrived safely home to IN on April 24th 2014! We documented this special day by purchasing and dedicating the book, “H is for Hoosier: An Indiana Alphabet”.
Right now, we are in another season of waiting. We will be taking a vacation in 10 days and shortly after we return, on the first day of my natural cycle, I will begin meds. Approx. 17 days after the start of meds, God willing, we will transfer to Carmel, IN for transfer day. I should receive my medication protocol this week, a calendar instructing me what meds to take on what days and what doses, what days to go to the Dr. for blood work and ultrasounds, and most exciting… what day will be transfer day. I planned to order all my meds tomorrow. That was until we got a very pleasant surprise today, that a wonderful angel offered to donate her unused meds from her last cycle to us! These won’t get us through our cycle but every little bit helps. With no insurance coverage for these medications and procedures, costs rack up very quickly. We feel so grateful to receive such a donation. I will be contacting our RE (reproductive endocrinologist) tomorrow to confirm what we can use from the donation and what all we will still need to order.
Aaron and I are humbled by the amount of love and support that our readers continue to show us. Thank you so much for this! ❤