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“It took a lot of soul-searching and, ultimately, [donating our embryos] was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make,” ...Mary's Story
Several years after Houston couple Mary Fusillo and her husband had their children through fertility treatment, they decided it was time to explore the next steps they could take with their remaining frozen embryos. At the time President Bush had recently signed legislation prohibiting using donated embryos for stem cell research, so the Fusillos focused on donating their embryos so another couple could build a family. It was very important for Mary to have a say in selecting the couple who would use their embryos. Using the Yahoo embryo donation discussion board, the Fusillos eventually met a California couple with whom they connected. Though they did not meet the prospective recipients in person, the couples talked on the phone and each got a sense of who they were as people so they could become comfortable with their decision. Additionally the Fusillos asked a therapist friend to talk to the intended recipients to get a professional perspective.
“It took a lot of soul-searching and, ultimately, [donating our embryos] was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make,” said Mary. “But having gone through infertility treatment ourselves, understanding that basic human desire to have a baby, and being so grateful to have had our own children through treatment, we wanted to give that same gift of parenthood to other hopeful parents.”
Unfortunately the Fusillo’s donation did not result in a successful pregnancy, but the experience helped the California couple open up themselves to adoption and 18 months after the embryo transfer, they adopted two children.
After her experience, Mary has wise words for others trying to make the difficult decision about embryo disposition: “First, realize that trying to decide what to do with your frozen embryos will probably not be an easy decision. You must be really certain you are finished with your own family building and also have to allow yourself to consider new possibilities. But the best advice I can give is to take advantage of support groups and information, such as that offered by RESOLVE, to help you through this journey.”
Ms. Fusillo, RN, BSN, is a former member of RESOLVE’s board of directors.