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Embryo Matchmakers: The controversial IVF alternative

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Like many families, Crystal and Rich Colbert play with their four children after school each day. But their family’s “normal” didn’t come easily. 

“All my life I wanted to be a mom, and it just did not come easy to me,” Crystal said.

For five years they tried before they turned down the road of fostering. 

They adopted two children through foster care, but Crystal still had that yearning to experience pregnancy. 

“I really never thought I would be able to carry a child,” she said.

Then she heard about embryo donation. 

“There are around 500,000, give or take, embryos frozen in the United States,” said Dr. Sandy Goodman with the Reproductive Medicine Group in Tampa.

Dr. Goodman explains the embryos come from families hoping to start their own families through in vitro fertilization. Around 3,000 children have been born through embryo donation, according to the National Fertility Support Center.

“Sometimes couples will complete their family and there will be more embryos than they would like to transfer. And sometimes they will donate their embryos,” Dr. Goodman said. “Some of them remain frozen until a couple decides what they want to do. And others are donated to science.”

Embryo donation is a concept some find controversial. 

“I’ve heard women say IVF is like playing God,” Crystal said.

She admits she tried to push the idea away for some time but said, “In the end, I didn’t want to look back and have any regrets.”

It’s also a financially-friendlier way to get pregnant when comparing the cost of IVF and embryo donation. 

Find out more about Embryo Matchmaking Thursday at 6 p.m. on News Channel 8.

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