Many people view embryo donation and adoption as a medical procedure rather than an adoption family-building option. When examining the process of receiving embryos from another family a little more closely, it mimics the traditional domestic adoption process with many of the very same issues. Because receiving embryos from another family is the result of a great gift from one family that is unknown to the other family, it is important to prepare the receiving family through the process of an adoptive family assessment.
Families may dread and fear the adoptive family assessment process. However, by considering that the overall purpose of a family assessment is to prepare the family for a child to join the family and to assure that this family is ready in every way to parent a child, hopefully these families will grow more confident through the process. Also, by working with an adoption agency for this service, the donor family is assured that this particular family is ready in every way to parent and meet this child’s needs in every way.
Rightfully so, many adoptive families are discouraged because families who are able to have children naturally are not required to complete a family assessment. Social workers who serve these families desire very much that the process is helpful and a learning experience for the families.
A family assessment is a means by which a family has the opportunity to think through their preparedness to add a child or children to their family, discuss with a trained social worker their strengths and limitations and receive feedback as to their readiness to parent. Each family is unique and may not recognize all that they have to offer a child through adoption. By considering their family situation from a relationship, stability and financial point of view, the family builds confidence that they are ready to parent a child.
Additionally, it is so important to be aware and ready to parent a child that is not their genetic child, but a child of their hearts. With embryo adoption, there is the blessing of a pregnancy with the adopted child or children. It is a time to fall in love with the baby (or babies) that they are carrying and for the families to realize that they are as prepared as they can be to the parents of these wonderful bundles of joy!