WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- According to the National Embryo Donation Center one in every eight U.S. couples struggle with infertility. One West Lafayette Couple grew their family by adopting an embryo.
"We knew we wanted a big family and pretty much started trying right away," said Ashley Harkleroad.
Ashley and her husband Mark struggled with fertility. They started their family by adopting two boys named Max and Eli. Adoption is something the couple always felt drawn to do.
"By the age of 15 I had a pretty good idea that I had wanted to adopt didn't know why just went on a mission trip and here I am at 15 like man these kids need to be taken care of," said Mark Harkleroad.
The couple wanted to add more children to their family, so after having one child biologically through in vitro fertilization, they heard about the National Embryo Donation Center.
"We matched with a couple transferred three embryos and got pregnant with our twins,” said Ashley.
Normally, couples match with embryos that are the same ethnicity of the parents. Because Mark and Ashley had already adopted two African American children, they matched with an embryo that had a different ethnicity.
"We knew we wanted them to have more siblings that were adopted and maybe didn't necessarily look like us and they can realize that doesn't matter we love them,” said Ashley.
They hope sharing their story; will inspire people to adopt an embryo.
"I don't think embryo adopting is super widely known about but since we believe that it is a life even though it's frozen it's important for people to hear about and maybe adopt an embryo themselves," said Ashley.
The National Embryo Donation Center says at least 30,000 embryos are currently sitting in storage and need adopted. For more information on the National Embryo Donation Center click here.