What does “snowflake children” mean?

  1.  Emma Mancini


    I’m thinking of adopting an embryo from an anonymous couple. I think this is another type of adoption but with the main advantage that I still can carry the baby and deliver him or her in the future. I’ve been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and my husband has severe azoospermia… We have no choice, but we definitely want to have a baby, since we are 36 and 38 now and we don’t want our baby to have too old parents.

    We’ve searched for info on this and got involved in various forums (now this one!) and we’re confused because every time we read forums on egg donation, someone uses the term “snowflake baby” or “snowflake child”. We think this obviously is linked to embryo donation, but aren’t sure why and to what extent.

    Any ideas?


    February 17, 2016 at 1:36 pm
  2. Sandra F. Sandra F.
    Fertility counselor

    Dear Emma,

    You are right, snowflake children is related to embryo donation. This term is used by organizations and associations that promote embryo adoption of unused embryos from IVF cycles. The children that result from embryo adoption, that is, whose parents are not the original reproductive cell donors, are called “snowflake children”.

    The truth is, the first agency to coin the term “snowflake” to refer to these children was Nightlight Christian Adoptions, according to a CBS News article published on July 28, 2005. Today, over 450 children have been born from the Embryo Adoption program of Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

    The use of this term spread throughout those associations involved, so now it is widely used, especially by the Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign, Embryos Alive Adoption Agency and other people who directly refer to frozen embryos as “snowflake embryos”. The first “snowflake baby” was Hannah, born in 1998 to Marlene and John Strege.

    Members of the above mentioned organizations use the term “snowflake child” as a synonym of “frozen embryo”, although this has lead to some controversy in some circles who in fact do not agree with the embryo adoption practice.

    I hope now you are able to understand the meaning of this term 🙂


    February 17, 2016 at 2:00 pm
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