Embryo adoption brings Alexander couple the family they always wanted
ALEXANDER, Ark. (KATV) - The struggle with wanting to have a child, but not being able to, is one many couples face around the country. It's a struggle one family from Alexander experienced.
Brian and Ashley Baird struggled for years trying to get pregnant. They didn't know if becoming parents would be a possibility for them until they learned of embryo adoption.
Brian and Ashley got married 11 years ago, and in 2011 they started trying to get pregnant.
"We tried the natural way to start with and it just wasn't working. We went to a fertility specialist, did a couple rounds of In Vitro Fertilization, and neither one of those worked,” Brian explained.
The couple felt like they'd hit rock bottom.
"It was hard. I just couldn't get over not having the whole pregnancy experience,” said Ashley, “We had to cry a lot and come to terms that we would never have our own genetic child.”
The Bairds wouldn't give up without a fight. Ashley started researching possibilities and she came across something called embryo adoption.
"She found some things about embryo adoption, for people that have done IVF and have had all the kids that they want to have, and they have left over embryos. They can either donate them for research, dispose of them, or give them up for adoption," Brian said.
The Bairds began the process of embryo adoption in July 2014.
“We got to go through the profiles and decide which ones we wanted. We got to find out all the medical history, characteristics of parents," Ashely explained. Exactly one year after they began, their son Braden was born.
Ashely said, "I never thought this was going to be a possibility for us, so it was just amazing."
Two years later they started their second round of embryo adoption. "Most of the time they end up transferring two to three embryos at a time. If you do three, it’s about a 40% chance of having twins,” Brian said. Four months ago, they welcomed twin girls, Dani and Ryan into the world.
Now hearts and hands full, the Bairds have the family they always dreamt of.
They hope their story can be an inspiration to others struggling with infertility. Ashley said, "We have the family that we've always wanted. We would not know that they are genetically not ours. We don't love them any differently and we are so happy that we went this route."
Brian shared the same sentiment, "I'd say don't give up, and I’d encourage others to look intro embryo adoption because these are lives that are looking for somebody, they are looking for parents."
Ashley and Brian went through the process in Knoxville, Tennessee at the National Embryo Donation Center.
They say since all three of their children are not genetically related to them, they plan on being open and honest with their kids about it. They already have a book catered towards toddlers about embryo adoption and what it means.