After struggling with infertility, Tri-Cities couple gets pregnant using donated embryos


GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- Between four kids, Rachel and Gregory Cox have their hands full. But flash back to just four years ago, “Never thought this would’ve happened,” Gregory Cox said.

They tried to have kids for seven years. They said doctors told them because of their individual issues there was no chance of getting pregnant naturally or through fertility treatments.

“You feel like a failure you really do,” Rachel Cox said.

They started the adoption process and adopted their son Bryce right after he was born.

“I’ll never forget that moment,” Gregory Cox said.

A couple years later as they started looking at adopting a second child they found about a different kind of adoption, embryo donation, where couples can adopt frozen embryos.

“Instead of having them destroyed or donated to science they put them up for adoption,” Rachel Cox said

Here’s how it works- during infertility treatments like in vitro fertilization couples usually produce more embryos than they can use. The unused embryos are frozen and the couple can choose to donate the embryos to another family.

The Coxes said after lots of talking and lots of prayers, they decided to choose a donating family.

“The donating family, they had in vitro done 14 years ago,” Rachel Cox said. “So they have a biological sister.”

Through the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, three of the remaining frozen embryos were implanted in Rachel in November of 2016.

They said the chance they would get triplets was slim. But in June Leora, Jayla Rae, and Annalyn came home just a day before their big brother’s birthday.

“I know it sounds overwhelming on paper, when you see it, but you just find a way. It’s been so amazing, it’s been a lot of fun,” Gregory Cox said.

The Coxes said they know not everyone is on board with this kind of adoption.

“We can’t help that our bodies didn’t work the way they’re supposed to and I don’t think that should deny anyone the right to be able to feel what a pregnancy feels like,” Rachel Cox said. “The way I look at it you’re still saving a life.”

Now with three daughters and a son, “I wouldn’t trade anything for it for the world,” Gregory Cox said.

The Cox family chose to have an open adoption with the girls’ biological parents. They now have a 14 year old sister who was conceived at that same time.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services there is currently as many as 60,000 frozen embryos which could potentially be made available for embryo donation.Copyright 2017 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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