Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christiansen Family - Snowflake Adoption

I'm excited to introduce you to Chris and Leslie Christiansen this month, as they are embarking on an adoption journey that is unfamiliar to most people. Snowflakes (or Embryo) Adoption has become available to families in recent years. I've asked Leslie Christiansen to share a little about the process and options for this type of adoption.  

1. Tell us a little about your family. 
My husband and I met in San Diego working in ministry at our church and were married one year later. We had both always wanted several children and wanted to adopt at least one as we both felt drawn to adoption. A few years after being married, we tried to begin having a family only to discover that biological children would most likely not be possible for us. We were told that we had a sixty percent chance we could still do IVF which led us to really begin praying about whether or not we should look into adoption or consider IVF. 

We had always wanted to adopt, but for me, not being able to have a baby was very difficult, especially as I work with children every day. We began looking into ways to adopt, including international, domestic and foster to adopt. One day, my parents were listening to a podcast and heard about Snowflake Adoption. They were the ones who encouraged us to look into this option. 

2. What is Snowflake Adoption? 
Snowflake Adoption is the adoption of embryos that have already been created for IVF, but a couple has chosen not to use them. Although there are a few different ways to adopt embryos, Snowflake Adoption is a part of the Nightlight Adoption Agency and it is very similar to open adoption.

3. What drew you to this option for growing your family?
When we heard about Snowflake adoption, we were immediately drawn to it as this would allow us to actually go through the pregnancy and birth of our children. We also felt we could relate with the biological parents as we had struggled with infertility and had considered IVF. During this process you are also able to adopt all of the family's remaining embryos which allows you to have multiple children without going through the adoption process multiple times.

4. How would someone begin the process of Snowflake Adoption? Does it require a homestudy as other adoptions do? What are the costs related to this type of adoption? 
The family goes through a homestudy and then is matched to the embryos of a family that has the number of embryos a family is wanting to adopt. As with many adoptions, there is a financial cost. We had already made the decision to move to the Midwest two years ago for a lower cost of living to be able to financially prepare for the adoption. 

With Snowflakes adoption, the cost typically is approximately $8,000 for the adoption and another $4,000-5,000 for each IVF procedure. The cost will vary based on how a family chooses to do their home study and transportation of embryos based on location. As we would like to have multiple children, we felt that at this time the lower financial burden would allow us to be able to adopt more children. 

5. With Snowflake Adoption, what does the interaction look like with the biological family? 
Typically, the biological and adoptive families do maintain some form of contact as in an open adoption. Our agency works to match families together that want to have the same amount of contact, which can range from a letter or email, to actually meeting in person.

6. For families that are not planning on adopting, but want to come around and support those in the adoption process, do you have any suggestions on how they can help? 
The amount of frozen embryos all over the world continues to grow as reproductive technologies have evolved. There are many reasons why a couple may choose not to use their remaining embryos- completing their family, medical difficulties, or possibly advanced age. When this happens they are given four options: keep them frozen indefinitely, donate to science, donate for adoption, or have them destroyed. Snowflake Adoption is a way for those who cannot have biological children or would like to add to their family, and it also allows these children to be born. 

If you are interested in learning more about Snowflakes Adoption through Nightlight, you can find more info here. Another way to support this adoption process is simply to tell others. Many people are not even aware of this option and it may be exactly what they are looking for in terms of expanding their family. 

For the month of December, 20% of any purchases from my new or returning Rodan + Fields customers will go toward the Christiansen family's Snowflakes Adoption. 

1 comment:

  1. This is really a great inspiring introduction of the couples who has struggled with infertility. I also have many success stories in my bucket. You can check out at IVF Centre in India which is infertility treatment based hospital.