Embryo Adoption: One Couple’s Story

Stephanie and Ben Hawkins decided to turn to adoption after learning they couldn’t have biological children. Rather than adopt a child who had been born already, the upstate New York couple decided to adopt an embryo. Gina Yasuda, their eventual donor,  told CBS News that she made the decision to donate her extra embryos because of her Christian faith.

“I knew that I couldn’t trash them or donate them to science,” she added. 


Yasuda and her husband contacted the agency and created their own profile and began reviewing the profiles of couples hoping to adopt. And while Gina says she wanted to pick someone closer to her Hawaiian location, it was the Hawkins profile that made her believe they were the right choice.

On the advice of her doctors, Stephanie Hawkins had all three embryos transferred because normally only one-third survive the process. There was a possibility she would carry triplets, but eventually her doctor told her there was one baby growing in her womb. One embryo had survived the transfer. Her pregnancy went well, and in May 2009 she gave birth to daughter Annika.

After giving birth, the Hawkins told Nightlight Christian Adoptions Snowflake Adoptions Program, which coordinated their embryo adoption, that they wanted to have direct contact with the donor family, a move that Gina Yasuda calls an “unexpected blessing.” The two couples communicate regularly, exchanging e-mails and photos. And when Annika was 2 years old, the Yasudas came to visit and meet her in person. It was another blessing, according to the Yasudas, who say that it felt right knowing that Annika is where she’s supposed to be — with her parents.

Photo: Getty