Embryo adoption gives new hope for families who struggle with in - KCTV5

Embryo adoption gives new hope for families who struggle with infertility

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Anna and Robert Burnett decided the best choice for them was frozen embryo adoption. (KCTV5) Anna and Robert Burnett decided the best choice for them was frozen embryo adoption. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

There are a lot of options for couples who struggle with infertility.

About 10 percent of all couples struggle with infertility. There is a wide range of options, and many consider adoption.

Anna and Robert Burnett decided the best choice for them was frozen embryo adoption.

"We adopted embryos. Are they viable? Well, they are 12," Anna Burnett said.

Ian and his twin sister, Emalynn, are now middle schoolers who explain to their friends they were adopted as embryos.

"Then, they kind of looked more confused," Ian said.

The Burnetts struggled with infertility and the choices before them.

"I think for us, it was trying to figure out a way to have kids when a doctor tells you hey you can’t have kids of your own," Robert Burnett said.

"We were worried about having left over embryo," Anna Burnett said.

Then, they learned about embryo adoption. They could adopt someone else's leftover embryos.

"I thought hey this is a great solution," Robert Burnett said.

And it was. Anna Burnett became pregnant with twins.

"It is a wonderful thing to experience the pregnancy," she said.

Today, Emalynn and Ian are preteens. A brother and sister who are biologically related to another family who also struggled with infertility. The two families meet once a year.

Like any open adoption, the kids understand their history. Emalynn has a box of memories from visits with her other siblings.

An embryo adoption works much like a traditional adoption. The bio parents have a choice in who adopts the embryos, and the prospective parents review the biological parents.

Advocates say it’s more economical than traveling overseas and less risky than traditional adoptions where birth mothers change their minds about 20 percent of the time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are more than a million frozen embryos in the United States.

Embryo adoptions have been around for more than 20 years, but it’s just not as popular as other forms of adoption. Embryo adoptions recently made national news when a young couple from Tennessee shared their story of infertility and success. It turns out the adopted embryo was almost the same age as the parents.

The Burnetts are sharing their story hoping to help others realize there are many options for couples struggling with infertility.

Embryo adoption has about a 40 percent pregnancy success rate. There are more than five embryo adoption agencies across the United States.

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