He said the longer an embryo is frozen, the more likely it is to have problems. In addition, he said the demand for embryo adoption is likely very low considering that couples often chose to undergo in-vitro fertilization instead of adoption because they want to have a baby with their DNA.
Federal funding for programs like Snowflake started during the George W. Bush administration, said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. But at the same time, there was a ban on doing anything that would harm or destroy an embryo. It was officially called the Dickey-Wicker Amendment but became known informally as the “embryo research ban.”
In addition, federal dollars could not be used for anything the public deemed morally objectionable, which is why they were neither used to directly fund abortions or go toward stem cell research, Kahn said.
"This was a way of actually doing exactly that, using federal dollars to fund a quite controversial program around the use of human embryos -- but the flip side," Kahn said
The funding for embryo adoption peaked in 2009 and 2010, with $4.2 million each year, but these programs have been defunded over the last several years. In 2013, they received only $980,000, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.