One question that comes up frequently on the embryo donation and adoption support page is how do you pick a profile? I can appreciate the question and like to see everyone’s thought processes on selection. Some are looking only at embryo stage and grading. Others are looking at physical characteristics. Others look at the age and health history of the donor couple. And others look at some combination of all three.

For us, it wasn’t a question of embryo stage or grading. Honestly, I didn’t know a lot about either and didn’t do a lot of research. With the NEDC, we had instructions to select two profiles (a primary and a backup) and how we could mix and match the stages. Otherwise, this wasn’t a factor in our selection.

When we selected, we had about 40 profiles from which to pick and we looked at physical characteristics above all else. Even though the information we had was limited and genes can definitely surprise you, we thought there would be less questions if our children had some chance of being similar to us.

Once we narrowed it down to eight profiles (if I recall it was 4 at the blastocyst stage and four at either multicell or 2PN) we prayed. There was one that stood out to us and we referred to them as the giants because of their large stature, but otherwise had hair/eye/skin tone like us. I was leaning toward those. God had other plans. After looking at four of the special consideration profiles, we had placed one on our short list. God put them on the top of the list. Even though their medical history wasn’t squeaky clean, they were the ones for us.

I’ve seen many moms post that their embryos weren’t graded that well, but they made perfectly healthy and beautiful babies. I’m glad I didn’t know all the details of their embryo history, such as when they were frozen, grading, etc. I don’t know that it would have changed our decision, but given the fact that we had two beautifully healthy children, those other details just don’t matter.


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