Have you ever wanted to experience pregnancy and parenthood but have been unable to do so? It’s amazing how far our world has progressed, and how this generation already has Embryo donation/adoption. This may be the answer you’re looking for. In this episode, Dr. Carolina Sueldo discussed how embryo donation/adoption works and what to expect if you’re thinking about doing it. This may be important to you. It could be a life event you’ve always wanted to share with your spouse or partner.
What you’ll learn:
00:29 What is an Embryo?
00:48 What is Embryo donation/adoption?
1:30 The procedure for embryo donation/adoption.
2:08 The procedure distinction between embryo donation and adoption.
2:23 First thing you’ll consider when you’re doing embryo donation/adoption
3:59 Preconception counseling
5:50 Choosing whether embryo adoption or donation is the best option for them.
6:37 “Most of us grow up trying to prevent pregnancy.” – Dr. Carolina Sueldo
8:23 Dr. Carolina Sueldo discussed how to deal with an embryo that is in a different state.
9:21 In the United States, eggs, sperm, and embryos are regularly shipped across state lines.
10:01 What to do if the doctor refuses to cooperate with that Embryo agency or company?
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The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.
Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.
Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.
Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
Carolina Sotomayor Reiki: https://carolinasotomayor.com/
Full episode transcript:
Hi, I’m Carolina, your podcast host and womb healer, and today we’re having a very special guest. This is Dr. Carolina Wello, and I’m gonna go ahead and hand her introduction over to you. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for taking the time to speak to us.
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Carolina. I’m so excited to be here today. So as she mentioned, I am a doctor. I’m actually a double board certified OB G Y N and fertility specialist. So what that means is after medical school I did four years of OB, B G Y N training. I then did three more years of reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
And then for both specialties you have to take a written exam and an oral exam. So lots of lots of training to get to get to this spot. That’s so impressive. . Thank you. Thank you embryos. A lot of the questions that I have are embryo adoption. Embryo donation. How is somebody that is struggling and they can’t use their own?
how do they proceed to get those and how does that work with their fertility specialist? Sure. So I wanna start by defining what is an embryo. And so an embryo is a fertilized egg, so it contains DNA both from the egg and the sperm source. Okay? So that’s important for people to understand. Typically, those embryos have been frozen after three days in culture or more typically five days in culture and.
embryo donations slash adoption came about because patients were creating embryos, completing their families, and then not using the remaining embryos. And because they didn’t wanna discard them, they wanted to. Provide them to another family, suffering from infertility. Okay. So I wanna just kind of preface like a little No, it’s great background.
Yeah, it’s great background because I think that with current events in state of 2022, it’s really an important to define things of like what is an embryo, what exactly are, what’s the technical definition of this that we’re speaking. Yeah, absolutely. When you talk about embryo donations slash adoption and, and they’re not quite the same, but I use them the same for, for technique or procedural purposes, what the recipient goes through.
So the woman receiving the embryo is actually quite simple. Most clinics will prepare her uterus, giving her some form of estrogen. We add in progesterone, and then we put the embryo back into her. And what she feels the procedure is very much like a pap smear. Obviously it’s a lot more involved and it’s a lot more technical than that, but in terms of what she feels, she’s awake for it, and it’s very much like a pap smear appointment.
In terms of embryo donation and adoption in terms of the process, that’s where it gets a little bit different. And I’ll qualify my answer by saying it is important that you understand each law according to the state that you live in. So, so important. The first piece, right? So the first piece is if you’re gonna consider embryo donation slash adoption, is talk to your fertility specialist in your state about what laws may apply for you.
Typically donation is defined as an altruistic donation, so it can be a directed donation, so you actually know the couple and they’re giving you their embryos or an anonymous donation. Where you don’t know them. So some clinics, for example, um, have these embryos. The, the patients have consented that they want to donate those embryos to another couple, and so then the clinic would coordinate that embryo transfer.
It’s an altruistic donation. Minimal information is typically available. There’s really not a whole lot of background or whatnot on either the donors or the re. So from a cost benefit standpoint, it’s typically much more cost effective, but the amount of information received is a lot more limited. When you go through an embryo adoption process, it is very similar to an adoption.
Process that, like the traditional adoption that we conceive of. So there’s typically background checks. There’s typically home visits, there’s typically a matching process that occurs and you typically have a lot more information about the donors than you would otherwise. So there is some differences in the donation versus adoption process, but procedurally, essentially it is receiving an embryo.
So sperm and egg that have come from another couple into your u. Most clinics will require some sort of counseling. We call it preconception counseling prior to doing that, and so anytime there’s third party reproduction involved, whether it’s egg donors, sperm donors, surrogates or embryo donation adoptions, we will typically require counseling with a therapist.
Um, and that involves both partners. If there are two partners, if there’s one person, then obviously it would just be the patient. But if there’s two partners, then we always want both partners involved. And it’s not really an eligibility screening, right? We’re not determining are you capable of receiving these embryos?
It’s really to have a thoughtful discussion about, you know, are we gonna tell the child? When are we gonna tell the child? What are we gonna tell the child? Have we thought this all the way through? right now we’re so focused on getting pregnant, but what happens when that child turns, you know, two or 10 or 18 or whatnot when they need medical care or when the genetics come out with 23 and me, you have all these things now.
So I think it’s just more of having that thoughtful conversation. Have we sort of intentionally to the best of our ability thought through this process as far as. I love that you require that counseling because I’ve had a client who’s doing this on her own and she is seeking embryo adoption with a very specific cultural background and a ethnicity that’s similar to hers, but she’s finding that it’s very difficult to find an embryo adoption that matches her same.
cultural backgrounds. Basically, how does somebody decide what’s best for them, either in embryo adoption or embryo donation? Besides this cost? Yeah, that’s a great question. And there’s really not, and I say this so much in the fertility journey, that there’s really not one right or wrong answer. No one size fits all is right.
Exactly. No one size fits all. Yes, yes, yes, yes. So it very much has to be individualized. It very much has to be tailored, and it really is about the person. Or the couple, if there’s two people going through the journey and really thinking about what am I okay with? And I think this comes back to, and I say this all the time in my office, you know, most of us grow up trying to prevent pregnancy.
We’re trying to, that’s so true, the right thing. So most of us never have really had to think about what happens if I’m not able to complete my family the way I always. . Right? And so these are all sort of new thought processes, new thinking. It’s really exploring within you and within your partner, if there is one, sort of what are you guys comfortable with at the end of the day?
Because at the end of the day, this is your journey in, in 15, 20 years from now, when all is said and done and you’ve closed the, the book on this chapter. , you know, really what are you guys gonna be okay with having done versus not? And that’s really, I think, ultimately what it comes down to. I have a question.
So when I researched embryo adoption, there is like centers and different private companies does the location of a person. Different states have different laws of course, and the requirements of doing an embryo adoption. But if a person’s in, say, California, And the embryo adoption, send her the place where the actual embryo’s located in a different state.
How does one manage that? How does one, like if they find like. , do they find they always go through the doctor? Or if they sought out a private agency that has these embryos that they feel like, okay, that’s a good match for me. How do they arrange Doctor Embryo Agency? I got you. I got you. Yeah, so I’ll preface my answer by saying it depends on the center slash you know, company or whatever you wanna call it.
So the procedure, the embryo, Needs to be done by a physician. And so when the patient is exploring these different options where the embryos are typically we’ll tell you, Hey, yes, you can come establish as a patient. We will do the, you know, the procedure here. or no, we don’t have anyone who can do it here.
We will ship the embryos to you and you know, in your state and you will have to find a physician to do the transfer there. So for most patients, the company, the clinic, the center will point them in the direction of, yes, you know, we can accept it or no, you need to find somebody in your area. What I will say is, just as a side note, that eggs, sperm, and embryo.
are shipped regularly across state lines here in the United States. So it is something that we do all the time. It’s very standardized, of course. You know, is there a risk when transferring gamuts, which is the overarching term, of course. Um, but it is a very sort of standardized, you know, regularly done procedures.
So if you need to ship embryos, Massachusetts to California, or you know, Ohio to Florida or whatnot. It’s typically something that can be done with relative needs. What if a client has a doctor that refuses to work with that agency or that company and they’re having difficulty finding a doctor in their area, like how does a person resolve that kind of situation?
They just go back to the. Yeah, so I mean, I think at that point you have two options, right? So one is you wanna ask your doctor why they’re refusing to work with them. So, you know, are they not meeting FDA requirements, are they, you know, what’s the reasoning behind. the refusal, I think is an important first step.
And then the second step would be, okay, if there’s no red flags, so to speak, if it’s just a, you know, maybe they have a contract with somebody else as a preferred, you know, whatever it may be, then you can ask the doctor, you know, who else in the area would you recommend or refer me to, because I really wanna work with this particular company.
And I think that that’s a very reasonable request. If the doctor’s not able to move forward with that center or company, or. I am just so blown away with all of the information that you’ve given us today. Thank you so much for your time today, and can you tell our listeners, are you on social? How can they follow you?
How can they learn more about you? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I have a YouTube channel. I drop episodes there weekly. They’re just quick 10 minute clips of those little blurbs that you wish you knew. And it’s my name, Dr. Carolina Aldo. So very easy to find. And then I’m also on social. I’m on Instagram and Facebook.
I would love for you to send me a DM after this episode and let me know what you thought about it, and if you have any questions, I would love it to work with you. I would love that. I love also that we’re twinning with our first. Yes, the Carolina. Carolina, the two Carolinas. So I’m so blessed to have had you here today, and thank you so much for your time.
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. This was so fun. Awesome. I hope you have a good day.