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Your Family Now: Waterloo family grows family via embryo adoption

Posted at 2:49 PM, Apr 13, 2018

Travis and Annette Wells knew before they were married that they wanted children. They also knew there were fertility issues that would require them to look at different ways to grow their family. 

They adopted Cornelius from Guatemala and had planned to adopt more children from there as well. However, adoptions between the U.S. and Guatemala closed years ago. After some research, they decided to pursue embryo adoption

When couples undergo in vitro fertilization they freeze their embryos.

"They really have three choices with these embryos: they can leave them frozen indefinitely, they can donate them for science or they can give them up for adoption," Annette Wells told us.

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates there are more than 600,000 cryo-preserved embryos in the U.S. 

Travis and Annette Wells decided to use the Snowflake Embryo Adoption program through Nightlight Christian Adoptions

The option of embryo adoption allowed Annette Wells to carry three of her children. She took hormone treatments and then the embryos were implanted. They had their son, Corbin, this way and years later welcomed twins Cadi and Cora. "So I got to enjoy all the wonderful parts of being pregnant, the good, the bad and the ugly."

The Wells family also believes life begins at conception so there was a religious piece that made this option a good fit for them. 

"You are giving a life a chance to grow and to mature and to see what the potential is in these little frozen embryos, and it's just been a blessing to our whole family," Annette Wells said. 

She said the cost was less than international adoption. You can learn more about the cost here. 

She also noted that with her twins they have contact with the couple who donated their embryos. Like other adoptions, there are various options regarding whether you want it to be open or closed.