Q&A on Egg Donation
QUESTION: One of my friends is considering using an egg donor, so she and her husband can have a baby. (She has no eggs due to pre-menopause). Do you have suggestions for how I can help them understand more about this or have resources to share? Am I correct that from a Christian perspective, there are serious concerns about egg donation?
ANSWER: My primary concern is the precarious nature of in vitro fertilization. While success stories abound, what is seldom discussed is the number of failed attempts, which are far more abundant. Every failed attempt, where an egg is fertilized but does not survive to implantation, or is lost during the course of a pregnancy, is a lost life. While medicine set out to deny this reality by redefining life to begin now at implantation, the redefinition did not change the reality. Everything that makes each human being unique, and uniquely human, is there at fertilization. The geography may change but that life is a life.
That being said, there are countless embryos cryopreserved as leftovers from other couples who, for whatever reason, decided not to implant their other children. Some who have pursued IVF surrender their embryonic children to science, where they are split open and stem cells are harvested for other experiments. Many have destroyed unused embryos. But a number of well-meaning parents have donated these embryos to adoptive couples. I know a number of couples who have adopted the embryos, having them implanted into their wombs and brought to a full and healthy delivery.
For those unable to conceive, but who have the ability to carry a pregnancy, we suggest that they consider adopting an embryo. The process is referred to as the “Snowflakes Program.” It now runs through an agency called “Night Light.” Here is the link: https://www.nightlight.org/snowflakes-embryo-adoption-donation/
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