Michele and Bobby To, of Arvada, Colorado, welcomed their son Alex who was born… three years after he was conceived.
Alex was actually adopted by the To couple as an embryo from a donor couple back in March 2016. The embryo was then frozen until it was successfully implanted in Michele’s womb nearly three years later.
Watch to find out more about this amazing story below.
Video credit: Rumble
Michele said: “It feels a little like Alex was waiting for us, frozen for three years. It’s kind of neat. ”
To understand how this situation developed, whenever a couple opts for IVF, several embryos are formed. But when the couple has already completed their family, they can choose to have the remaining embryos destroyed, donated to research, or donated to another couple having difficulty conceiving. Alex came from the last option.
However, Michele and Bobby agreed that theirs will be an “open” embryo adoption, meaning Alex has the option to meet his genetic family if he wants.
“We communicate with Alex’s genetic family through email and send them updates about him. I think it will be important for him in the future,” said Michele.
Factors such as the genetic family’s features, medical history, education, and hobbies all played a role in narrowing them down as the choice.
Michele and Bobby already have a biological son, five-year-old Lathan, via IVF in June 2013. It was a lucky birth as Lathan came from the only viable embryo that they had.
They wanted to give Lathan a sibling so they started exploring traditional adoption in 2017. However, on their adoption agency’s website, there was an ad for embryo adoption that Michele spotted and that started the ball rolling for another way to expand their family.
Michele said: “We had trouble having children and our first son was conceived through IVF.
“At that time we had just one viable embryo, so we only had one shot, so to speak. We felt very lucky when it worked out and we had our son Lathan.
“We knew we wanted a sibling for Lathan and we did try IVF again in 2016 but it didn’t work.
“After that round of IVF didn’t work out, we started to think about adoption. It was something that sat really well with us.
“Funnily enough, we were on our adoption website when I saw an advertisement for embryo adoption.
“When couples have extra embryos when their family is complete they have a decision to make.
“They can donate the embryos to other couples, they can donate them to science or they can destroy them.
“Ultimately we ended up choosing embryo adoption over traditional adoption because, while I had trouble getting pregnant, my pregnancy with my first son was easy and healthy.
“We were concerned adoption would take a while.”
Bobby said: “A lot of people don’t know about embryo adoption or this alternative route to expanding a family.
“We didn’t until we saw an advertisement on our adoption agency’s website.”
The first attempt to implant an embryo occurred on March 2018 but it failed. But in July that same year, the procedure succeeded and they were thrilled.
Michele said: “When we were considering adoption, we attended some classes and we realized then the positive impact open adoption has on children.
“It gives children a sense of identity about themselves.
“We felt that with ancestry websites, nothing is really anonymous anymore and we wanted him to feel like the door is always open for him to meet and know his genetic family, even though we are his parents.
“We chose our embryos based on eye color, weight, education, blood types, and other factors and you choose a top five.
“We want to be open with Alex from the beginning about embryo adoption. Experts say that you should start speaking to your children about it from when they are babies because it’s incredible what they can understand, and that is our plan.”
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