How Can I Calculate Embryo Adoption Cost?


Many good things in life come at a price — even embryo adoption. But if you’re prepared to count the cost of embryo adoption and do a little advance planning, I can assure you the effort will be well spent.

Let’s cut to the chase: For my family, the all-in cost of embryo adoption amounted to approximately $14,000 including:

  • Adoption agency consulting

  • Paperwork, doctor’s visits & associated fees/postage

  • Home study

  • Pre-embryo transfer medications

  • More doctor’s visits to fertility clinic that conducted the transfer

  • Embryo shipping

  • Embryo transfer

  • Hospital delivery

I asked Julie (that’s my lovely wife!) if she could provide any additional specifics. She pointed out that the adoption process cost a little under $10,000 whereas the transfer/medications/delivery amounted to the balance, or about $4,000.

If you Google this question, you’ll learn a few things that we can confirm:

  • Assuming your adopted embryos are successfully shipped, transferred and brought to term, embryo adoption is typically a lower-cost adoption option compared to domestic or international adoption. (I would point out there is at least one lower-cost option, which is adopting via foster care, according to Adopt US Kids.) Also, a 2016-17 survey by Adoptive Families finds U.S. domestic adoption of a newborn averages $40,000 and international adoptions average $44,000 each.

  • There are all kinds of variables in pricing your adoption. Everyone’s experience will be different. If you plan to carry multiple embryos to term, you might be going through more cycles of medication, doctor’s visits and hospital deliveries — thus, more time and more expense. A nice summary of those many variables is available here from Adopt Together.

  • Adoption agencies are a great resource for cost information as well. For example, Nightlight Christian Adoptions and the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program offer these details on variable embryo adoption costs. Also, Embryo Adoption Services of Cedar Park provides its own fee guidance information here. There are many more examples you can find online.

As a debt-averse dad and snoopy journalist, I’d close with a few additional pointers:

  • When in doubt, ask for clarification. If adoption is new to you as it was to us, you’ll have questions about what line items in these budgets mean. Ask your agency for clarification. Seek counsel from other parents that have been through the process. Read free tutorials from adoption agencies and organizations. (You can also download the first chapter of my embryo adoption guidebook, “Frozen, But Not Forgotten,” absolutely free!)

  • Save a little, save a lot. Julie and I made a conscious decision to pay cash for our adoption. For the vast majority of families I know, that’s called a sacrifice. It’s a decision you shouldn’t make lightly. It means taking time now to invest in your future. If you think embryo adoption might be right for you, start setting aside the funds to do so now. I assure you, it seems crazy daunting, but it’s possible. It will add up. You’ll find this story from debt-free adoptive mom and author Julie Gumm encouraging!

  • Keep your baby close at heart. Remember why you’re on this journey in the first place. There’s a placing family out there seeking to bless a loving family like yours. And God is the author of those stories. Give your heart and prayers to Him and watch how He works.

Embryo adoption cost is a common concern among families considering adoption. It’s one of many issues you should absolutely raise as you begin the journey.

Got questions? Post a comment here or email me at I’d be happy to help you find the answers.