About the Embryo Adoption Awareness and Services Program

The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) is responsible for administering the frozen embryo adoption public awareness campaign. The campaign, first funded by Congress in 2002, supports grants, cooperative agreements and/or contracts which aim to increase public awareness of embryo donation/adoption. The program may also fund projects that provide services to make this family building option more attainable for infertile couples.

The original purpose of the program was to increase public awareness of the existence of a large number of human embryos remaining after in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, some of which might be available for adoption by infertile couples. In fiscal year 2008, Congress expanded the scope of the program to include interventions that provided medical and administrative services to individuals and couples in order to facilitate the adoption and donation of embryos for the purpose of family formation. Recipients of the services, undertaken as part of the proposed projects, should be individuals that are currently involved, soon may be involved, or are interested in adopting or donating remaining embryos. This may include individuals that are infertile, experiencing difficulty achieving a pregnancy, interested in having more children through frozen embryo transfer, or have surplus embryos.

Funded projects address a variety of medical and administrative services that facilitate the use of embryo adoption/donation as a method of family formation. In this context, education and counseling are considered medical services. Administrative services are those that address and help embryo adoption/donation patients negotiate the process and overcome financial, legal, and other non-biologic obstacles. Training of professionals to enable them to provide administrative and/or medical services to facilitate embryo adoption and donation is an additional aspect of the program. The embryo adoption program is authorized under Section 301 of the Public Health Service Act.

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OPA's Embryo Adoption Awareness and Services Program