National Embryo Donation Center's New Book Opens Conversation for Children Born from Donated Embryos

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In recognition of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) April 23-28, the book draws attention to embryo donation as a viable option for infertile families to have children.

As awareness and interest in donating and adopting frozen human embryos increases, the questions of “how do or should we tell the children?” start to arise. To address this emerging and growing demographic, the National Embryo Donation Center’s (NEDC) Digital Media Manager, Chris Barrett, collaborated with University of Tennessee child development professor, Dr. Sally B. Hunter, to create a heartwarming children’s book entitled, Training Wheels: How Did I Get Here?, to help parents start the conversation and answer their children’s questions.

These same questions have been asked by traditionally adopted children for decades and have influenced numerous books that assist in reinforcing an adopted child’s understanding of why they are special and very much loved. Some of these publications provide value to the parents of embryo adopted children but they don’t tell the whole story; that is until now.

Training Wheels tells about five year-old Miles and the new bike he gets for his birthday from his special friend, Mike. Miles’ parents explain that Mike’s mom and dad generously donated their remaining embryos and he was born as a result of their loving gift.

The story is told in a delightful rhyming pattern, using words that are easy for preschoolers to understand and a storyline that will help to satisfy their curiosity about where they came from. Fun and colorful illustrations by Knoxville artist Tyler Garrison saturate the book and enhance its appeal to young children.

Training Wheels is a privately funded project and has enjoyed its first soft cover printing. It is available online through Amazon at and Barnes and Noble at

About NEDC
The National Embryo Donation Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the lives and dignity of human embryos by promoting, facilitating and educating the medical and legal communities and the general public about embryo donation and adoption. It is the only organization in the country that coordinates all of the social, legal and medical aspects of this process in one facility. Through the success of fertility treatments and assisted reproduction technology over the past three decades, there are an estimated 600,000 frozen human embryos in the United States. While most are retained for future children by the genetic parents, approximately 2-3% are in limbo with uncertain futures. Embryo disposition options available are – thaw and dispose, donate to research or donate them to other infertile couples hoping to have a baby.


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