Embryo donation

During the weekend, 2 couples and their families invited the media – newspapers, TV and radio – to interview them about embryo donation. The first couple had two teenage boys and the second couple had a 3-month old baby girl. Couple 1’s 16 year old son was born because of IVF treatment. IVF means In-Vitro Fertilisation, or test tube babies. At the time, 12 other embryos from those parents were frozen so that they could have another child later if they wanted to. However, they decided they did not want any more children so these embryos were not used. These were two-cell embryos, stored in liquid nitrogen at -196 C.

Couple 2 had been trying for 9 years to have a baby but without success. In 2005, the law changed to allow embryo donations. Parents with frozen embryos who did not need them could now give them to another couple and this is what happened. Couple 1 looked through information about couples who could not have children and chose couple 2 early last year.

The two couples met and talked. In fact they talked for four hours and found that they liked each other. Couple 1 were happy to donate one of their frozen embryos to couple 2. The embryo had been frozen for nearly 16 years so doctors did not know whether it was still OK. It was put into the woman’s womb and 2 weeks later, tests showed that she was pregnant. Now they have a beautiful 3-month old girl.

Both couple 1 and 2 would like more people to know about embryo donation.

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