Monday, February 24, 2014

Snowflakes Program Facts (Part 1 of 3)


Pretty flexible program criteria:

·         Married couples or singles may apply (much smaller pool for singles)

·         Undergo and pass a home study

·         If adoptive mother is older than 45, a doctor’s “permission note,” for lack of a better term, must be provided


Program entails:

·         Mutual matching services (more on that later)

·         Embryo adoption services patterned off of their infant adoption program, as relevant

·         Mandatory post-birth record keeping (adoptive family sends updates to agency)

·         Mediation services between both genetic and adoptive parties (optional post birth)

·         Average of one to four month wait for matching.  The more open one’s preferences, the faster the match.


Fee Schedule:

·         In short, the Snowflakes fee is $8000.  This fee covers matching, counseling, communication mediation, and records keeping.

·         The fee does not cover the required home study, the embryo transfer, or the necessary medications.

·         There is an additional $2000 fee if you need to be rematched (in the event the first set of embryos and subsequent  transfer(s) did not result in live birth).

·         You do not owe Snowflakes anything if there are embryos remaining from your match after a successful pregnancy.  All embryos in a set are considered yours and you may transfer them at a convenient time.  You do need to notify Snowflakes of the outcome of subsequent transfers though.


Matching Facts:

·         They have a limited amount of multi-ethnic embryos (there is limited availability of these nationwide – Snowflakes seems to be about average)

·         Mutual matching – the majority of Snowflakes’ matches are considered “mutual matching”.  The Snowflakes’ staff presents genetic parents with a potential adoptive family’s profile.  Snowflakes has already screened both parties ensuring all basic preferences are met.  Genetic parents (GP) say yes or no to match.  If yes, the adoptive family will be sent the GP’s profile for review.  If no, the Snowflakes’ staff chose another set of GP to consider the adoptive family’s profile. The match is only complete when both parties are in agreement and the contracts are signed.

·         The vast majority of adoptions are open, semi-open, or closed.  Genetic parents participate in the matching in these scenarios.

·         A very limited number of donated embryo sets are considered “anonymous”.  In this scenario, the GP’s waive all involvement.

·         Adoptive parents receive the following in a genetic parents’ profile:

o   Basic info on embryos – number, developmental stage, date frozen

o   Biography of donating parents

o   Pictures of donating parents and their children, if applicable

o   Three generations of medical history

o   All the embryos in the set


Additional Facts:

·         Most genetic parents prefer an open contract.  This could range from minimal involvement (the GP’s just want active participation in the matching process and notification of any resulting pregnancies) to full openness (GP’s correspond regularly with adoptive family through facebook or email or phone). 

·         Snowflakes offers anonymous, closed, semi-open, and open adoptions.

·         The Snowflakes Program will provide post-birth mediation, as desired, between the GP’s and adoptive parents.  For example, any written correspondence that takes place between my twins’ genetic parents and me is sent through the agency.

·         Post birth records are required to be sent to Snowflakes through the resulting child(ren)’s fifth birthday.  Records are to be sent at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, two years, three years, four years, and at five years.  These records are for Snowflakes, not the genetic parents.

·         No selective reduction is allowed.

·         Surrogates are allowed.

·         While there are no limits to the amount of times you can try to achieve live birth, Snowflakes does encourage you to visit with your doctor if you have not achieved a successful pregnancy after three FET’s.

·         Adoptive parents are strongly advised to transfer no more embryos than one is willing to carry.

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