One family's story of open embryo adoption arrangement

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

kvue.com

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM

It's not exactly easy to land a two-page spread in People Magazine, but it happened to a couple in Kent. Not because they're celebrities, but because they wanted the best possible life for their baby.

Rachel and Diony Victorin tried for years to get pregnant.  They even tried in vitro fertilization. When four rounds of treatment were unsuccessful, the couple nearly gave up their dream of being parents.

That's when they heard about embryo adoption.

"It was like, wow, that's amazing, you know?" Diony recalls.

After a few months of research and applications, they were given five frozen embryos, left over from another couple's in vitro fertilization.

Two of those embryos were implanted in Rachel. A few months later, she was pregnant.

When little Esther Victorin was born, she was everything they hoped for. Still, her adoptive parents wanted more for their daughter.

"I really wanted her biological parents to be involved," said Rachel. "I really wanted Esther to be able to know that side of her and who she was and where she had come from."

Where she came from was actually a couple living in Tacoma, Larry and Jodi Dilworth.

They donated their leftover embryos after conceiving their daughter, Bobbie, in 2007.

"It was January in 2012, and I contacted the agency and said we feel like it could be great if Jodi and Larry could know Esther," said Rachel.

The Dilworths were open to the idea, and the two families decided to give an open embryo adoption a shot.

"And so we met for the first time at McDonald's, and let the girls meet," said Rachel.

Esther and Bobbie became fast friends, and soon, the two families became one.

"I mean, it's hard to explain to a lot of people," said Diony. "A lot of people don't understand it."

Their story is so unique it recently caught the attention of People Magazine. Their extended family was featured in the December 2012 issue, as one of the first families in the country to experiment with an open embryo adoption.

"It's just really been awesome to see how it's affected people and inspired people and made people aware of that option," said Rachel.

Esther usually visits with her biological parents and sister at least once a week.

As embryo adoption becomes more and more popular, it's believed more families will follow their lead.

There are currently about 600,000 frozen embryos stored in labs around the country.

About 3,500 babies have been born since the embryo adoption process began more than a decade ago.

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