Adopting a Snowflake
What should be done with 400,000 frozen embryos that are cryo-preserve after in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures? In some cases, those embryos are waiting to be thawed and transferred to their biological mothers with the hope they will implant and grow. Some are destined for termination in a garbage can or through experimentation in a lab. Others are waiting for their biological parents to decide their fate. And, since the mid-1990s, there is one more option adoption. Adopting embryos is a fairly new concept and has not yet received widespread acceptability. Yet, it also holds some potential benefit that should be evaluated. For an adoption to take place, the biological parents agree to donate their embryos, and a potential adoptive couple is chosen as acceptable recipients of those embryos. There are, however, practical concerns that need to be addressed.
- Biological parents don’t want their children raised by someone else;
- Adoptive couples must face the emotional roller coaster of this procedure
- The success rate of a live birth is rather low;
- Some women cannot accept the concept of an adopted child growing in her womb;
- These embryos can be perceived as commodities rather than children.
So, what does Gods Word say? We know that these embryos are human beings (Psalm 51:5). We also know that God demands an accountability of the lives of others (Genesis 9:5-6), and he expects we will provide for others in the same way we would provide for our own well-being (Luke 10:27). It is clear that all people, including these young children, should be given the opportunity to live, and Christians have the responsibility to preserve and protect those lives. It is for these reasons that some Christian adoption agencies promote embryo adoption as a positive, life-affirming alternative. Each one of these embryos, called Snowflakes, is frozen, unique, and fragile. Adopting them is not an easy procedure. A number of medical, physical, emotional, and ethical issues first need to be addressed. In the end, however, there seems to be a rather large pool of Christian couples who are compelled to adopt some of these embryos, and that is a good situation. We are guided by Gods Word to provide the best for others and it is clear that life for these young children is far better than intentional destruction. In addition, these couples will raise those children in homes that focus on Christ as Lord and Savior. Embryo adoption might not be the ideal practice, but it seems clear that it is far better than the alternatives.