Allowing Frozen Embryos to Develop and Live
In the debate over embryonic stem cells, proponents of destroying living human embryos to obtain their stem cells argue that frozen embryos are going to be discarded so why not get some “good” out of them. Perhaps you have been persuaded by this argument.
There is a beautiful and heartwarming alternative to this argument. Frozen human embryos can and have been adopted!
There are an estimated 400,000 frozen embryos in the United States. Only 2-3% have been designated for research. Through the in vitro fertilization process, multiple human eggs are harvested from a woman and fertilized with the father’s sperm. If the couple conceives a child or children through implantation of their embryos, there are sometimes embryos leftover in the frozen state.
Families who no longer wish to implant their remaining embryos can and do release them for adoption to a recipient family who is willing to implant them. This creates a positive outcome for the donor family, the recipient family, and the embryo who is allowed to live and develop.
There are children living today who were once frozen embryos! For more information on embryo adoption and to read testimonials from families who have adopted embryos, please go to: www.snowflakes.org or www.embryoadoption.org
The Amazing Adoption of Tanner Brinkman
His name is Tanner. If his riveting blue eyes don’t take your breath away, his fiery red hair and adorable laughter certainly will. Tanner came to a legislative hearing in Madison to help put a real face on a hard-to-visualize group within the human family: frozen embryos. Not too many months before, Tanner himself was just that: a two-cell frozen embryo (zygote).
While some scientists are fighting for the chance to kill these so-called “spare” embryos to advance research, Tanner’s Mom and Dad (Donielle and Jim Brinkman of Phoenix, Ariz.) understandably have a different view. Unable to conceive children themselves, friends suggested they contact Nightlight Christian Adoption’s Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program – an agency that helps genetic parents place their (frozen) offspring with adoptive parents.
“As I read their literature, I realized instantly that this was going to be the perfect opportunity for us,” said Donielle. “The fact that any children born to us would not be genetically related was never of any consequence to either of us. Families are about…commitment, not about genes.”
Of the three embryos thawed on August 22, 2000 one did not survive, “but the other two were implanted in my womb on August 23rd,” explained Donielle. Sadly, Tanner’s twin did not survive the implantation.
“Tanner’s estimated due date was May 13, 2001 – Mother’s Day! Of course,” Donielle smiled, “Tanner decided that date was not good for him so he decided to arrive via C-section on May 22nd, weighing in at 9 pounds, 11 ounces and 22-1/4 inches long. When Jim held him up for me to see, I was astounded. The most beautiful little baby – my baby – was looking at me. And I knew that someone was finally going to call me Mama.”
Embryo adoption is one more step in the struggle to protect the lives of America’s littlest, most vulnerable ones. We need only look into Tanner’s eyes to see that the cause is just.
See photos of Tanner today at his Mom and Dad’s website, http://www.jimanddoni.com.
For more information on embryo adoption and to read testimonials from families who have adopted embryos, please go to:
This information is courtesy of Wisconsin Right to Life.