PhotobucketYou are invited to participate in the Harris Interactive bi-annual survey of awareness of and attitudes towards Embryo Donation (ED) and Embryo Adoption (EA) sponsored by the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC). Your voice will help us monitor trends related to ED/EA. The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete, and all responses are strictly confidential. To participate in the survey, click on this link or copy the link into your browser, and then simply follow the instructions. At the conclusion of the survey, you will have the opportunity to enter Harris Interactive’s monthly $10,000 sweepstakes.

Please share his link with your friends. And forgive us our repetition, but we’ll be promoting this all month.


We laugh a lot in our house. Many might not find our antics funny, but after 11 years together, we have our fair share of games and inside jokes that we find quite amusing. We have a long history of coming up with band names that arise out of the normal course of conversation. “Kamikaze Ice” (rock or metal), “Scarf Belt” (punk) and “Rivers of Snot” (metal) are just a few that we have dubbed over the course of our time together. Bizarre, I know, but Jeremy and I are well matched in our wit and weirdness, which I think is one reason we do so well together. I grew up in a home where dry and often sick humor was the norm, so it was only fitting that I married someone who not only gets the humor, but also can easily play along. The only time I ever got called out in class was my senior year in college when Jeremy and I were in a child development class together and were discussing “utterances” that babies make. Jeremy quickly writes “ants on udders” at the top of his notebook page, inducing me to laughter and caused our professor asked if there was something we wanted to share. I wanted to die. Thankfully, Jeremy quickly responded that everything was okay.

I think laughter is one of the reasons our embryo transfer was successful and now there is a small study that could confirm my line of thinking. It’s a very stressful time, but Jeremy had me (and the nurses) laughing to the point where I was finally able to empty my VERY full bladder into a bedpan while inverted. Laughter helped relax me and possibly lowered my stress hormones enough to allow my body to let Grant and Maria latch on. An Israeli study showed that women who were visited by a clown on the day of their transfer had almost double the pregnancy rate of those who did not receive a clown visit. Now, this was a small study, but the results are statistically significant. More research is needed, but I think they are on to something. I think clowns are frightening, so that might not have worked for me, but never under estimate the power of a witty husband to make a stressful situation tolerable. For the right price, I will consider loaning him out for the next round of embryo transfers.


PhotobucketFor the sake of our many new readers, I’m re-posting this introduction to Hannah Dowling, student at Elon University, in North Carolina.




My name is Hannah Dowling. I am a Women/Gender Studies major at Elon University in NC and am pursuing research on women’s experiences with embryo adoption, particularly within their larger experiences with infertility. My research is interview based, and I would really like for my work to speak to the issues and experiences that actual women who have been or are currently involved with embryo adoption–both as donors and as adoptive mothers– find to be most important and significant. I am looking for women who would be interested in speaking with me about their embryo-adoption experiences (either as donors or adoptive mothers). I have already spoken with many women in various stages of involvement with the embryo-adoption process (i.e. those who are still waiting to be matched with an adopting or placing family, those who are currently pregnant with embryo-adopted children, those who were involved with embryo adoption many years ago, etc.), but I would like to include every woman who has the desire to participate in this research effort.

Participation in this research is entirely voluntary, and you will always have the option to not answer any questions with which you feel uncomfortable or would otherwise prefer to leave unanswered. You will have the option to complete interviews by phone or through email and can spend as little or as much time as you would like on the completion of interviews.

If you think that you might be interested in speaking with me about your experience or if you have any questions before you decide to participate, please do not hesitate to contact me at Additionally, I would be more than happy to speak with you over the phone.

I look forward to speaking with you,
Hannah Dowling

Embryo adoption researcher seeks volunteer interview subjects

PhotobucketIf you have participated in embryo donation or adoption, or if you’ve simply looked into it, you’ve probably asked at least one question to which the answer was, “We don’t know yet.” The body of legitimate research is growing, but there will never be too much.

Hannah Dowling, a student at Elon University in North Carolina, has chosen embryo adoption as the subject of her undergraduate research project, and has the support of her faculty there. We at NEDC are happy to pass along an invitation for you to participate in her project. Be aware that your participation is entirely voluntary, that it will not affect your care in any way, and that your interaction with Hannah will be entirely external to NEDC and any of its programs.

Feel free to read Hannah’s appeal here. And if you are so moved, reach her via the email provided for additional information and perhaps next steps.

Chris Barrett
NEDC New Media Coordinator


Yesterday a judge temporarily blocked the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research stating it violated law because it involved the destruction of human embryos. Of course, this brings up lots of debate and discussion on television and in the news. Being that this is near and dear to my heart, I started reading and made the mistake of reading some of the comments. Quickly these digressed into a religious debate. This is not a religious issue. It’s a life issue. Yes, I’m a Christian and part of my Christian faith honors life at all stages, but when this issue becomes a religious one, it takes the focus off these tiny lives that are at stake. As I sat on the couch last night holding Grant and Maria, one pundit stated that if these embryos are not used for research they will all go to waste. The thought made me sick and made me more fervent about sharing about embryo adoption. Embryonic stem cells have not shown the promise that is touted in the news. Yet, adult stem cells have been successful in treating disease and it doesn’t get nearly the same attention that embryonic stem cell research gets. The only hope I have is that this judge’s decision will open the door for more people to learn that research and death isn’t the only option for frozen embryos. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again….frozen embryos are not potential lives, but lives with potential.


Join NEDC Patient Coordinator Clydene Elkins, RN for a FREE, informative and educational webcast entitled “How To Apply Online If You’d Like to Donate Embryos”.  Clydene will take you step by step through the online application process and discuss what your next steps are.  A good reference for patients who are seeking to donate or adopt embryos as well as medical professionals seeking information for their patients. The webcast starts TODAY at 3:00 Eastern, so if you’d like to attend, head over to and prepare for an interesting educational experience!


I’m convalescing at home this morning due in part to a touch of a stomach bug as well as general pregnancy blahs and I made the mistake of watching “A Baby Story.” This couple—who is expecting their first child together—was sharing the story of their previous two pregnancies. The first ended in a miscarriage and the second ended on much different terms. They said that during an amniocentesis it was discovered that this baby had some heart problems that, if the baby was born, would result in surgery after birth and unknown complications. They stated that due to these findings they “terminated” the pregnancy because it would be “easier for the baby.” This prompted me to yell at the TV and quickly turn the channel.

This hit a particular nerve with me because we know our babies are at a slightly higher risk for a congenital heart defect due to a genetic sibling being born with a hole in the heart. We’ve gotten the question on many occasions as to why we would pick embryos who had a higher risk for a problem. Wouldn’t we want to go with the “strongest” to increase our chances of “success?” Our answer has been that we were being obedient to God and His direction in our lives. I get bothered when I think about this question because it shows that many people perceive only “perfect” life as one of value. If you knew that your child would have asthma or autism or some other issue, would you have decided a different outcome for their life? Would picking different embryos have guaranteed us “perfect” children?

Another comment we have frequently gotten from people is “I bet you are glad all three embryos didn’t take.” Again, I get bothered because this devalues that little life. Would triplets have been more challenging and posed more risk? Absolutely! But are we going to celebrate that one didn’t make it? Absolutely not! Our celebration is the hope we have that one day we’ll meet him or her in heaven.

Our prayer is for healthy babies and that we’ll have the strength to get through any challenges we may face in the future. We also pray others would have the courage to value life no matter what the circumstances.