' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Embryo 'adoption' just creeps us out

Friday, May 17, 2013

Embryo 'adoption' just creeps us out

 A reader asked us what we think about embryo adoption. She and her husband have nine embryos left over after creating a baby through in vitro fertilization. She cannot carry another child, but she and her husband do not want to destroy the frozen embryos or donate them to science, which is basically the same thing.

The idea of creating a child to be raised by genetic strangers is just wrong. Child adoption at least has a socially valuable underpinning--to provide a home for a child who needs one. Embryo adoption exists solely to meet the needs of adults, those who believe life begins at conception and those who want children.

Little consideration if any is given to how a child will feel growing up with genetic strangers, knowing that somewhere he has full siblings living with his true parents. The stark randomness of his existence may be disturbing--he was created in a test tube and now he is among strangers, while his siblings--and normal people--are fortunate enough to live with their biological parents and brothers and sisters.

Even though the owners of the embryos may hand-pick the would-be parents, (although in actuality it is usually the would-be parents who choose the embryos,) the child will be raised by people who do not share his physiognomy, his body type, his coloring--basically, his looks--and not his talents or interests. No matter how many traits one tries to match, he is going to be out of synch with the family as much as if he were adopted. He may not fit into this family.

It's unlikely that our reader can find a couple who will agree to take all nine embryos.This means that it's likely that the children will be raised in several different families. There's no guarantee that the recipients of the embryos will continue a relationship with the donor couple once the children are born, in fact, since parents often like to blur the reality of a child's existence if it is not their own offspring, they may sever any relationship. The children, like the children born from anonymous sperm or egg donation, may never know their genetic heritage. We know a woman who donated her eggs to a respected friend--one of her college professors--twice. After the second time, she never heard from the woman again.

Embryo adoption, like regular adoption, is a business,* often infused with religion. Night Light Christian Adoptions claims to have initiated embryo adoption in 1997 through a program it calls Snowflakes Embryo Adoption. Its website proudly displays baby #338 born April 22 of this year as its latest creation.

Night Light and other practitioners got a big boost in 2002 when the Bush administration and Congress poured $1 million into the Frozen Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign, administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs which, ironically, also manages family-planning money.

Arthur Caplan, Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, was a critic of the Campaign, objecting to Night Light using the language of adoption and referring to embryos as "pre-born" children. The basis for the Campaign, Caplan asserted was ideology, saying that it was "a nice way to score points with those who advocate the view that embryos are actual babies and should not be used for research purposes, but he contends, "it is not the best way to help couples who want to have actual babies" because frozen embryos are likely to be unhealthy. Instead, Caplan, argued, "One million dollars would be far better spent matching fertile couples willing to make embryos with infertile couples, rather than trying to get them to use unhealthy frozen ones." He is not against creating children in the laboratory for genetic strangers; he is only against advertising frozen embryos as a source for would-be parents in order to counter the argument that since embryos are going to be destroyed, they should be used in research. He bolsters his argument that these embryos are not good enough to produce babies.

Frankly, I am shocked that Caplan did not concern himself with the ethics of treating children as fungible commodities, vital products that should be subsidized by the tax payers. He seems completely unaware of the implications of children being raised by genetic strangers.

By the time President Bush left office, funds for the Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign swelled to $4.2 million with most of the money going to Night Light, Bethany Christian Services (wouldn't you know Bethany would have its long fingers in the government pie) and RESOLVE, the national infertility association. Under President Obama, funding decreased to $2 million and President Obama has proposed eliminating funding for 2013, an action which pro-lifers call more evidence of Obama's pro-abortion slant.

While embryo adoption is dominated by fundamentalist pro-life Christians, embryo adoption is available to would be parents of all or no faiths. The process is similar to normal adoption; couples apply for embryos, pay fees, have home studies, and select embryos from profiles of genetic parents. Adopters can choose open, semi-open, or closed "adoptions." In "Bake-at-Home Babies", a woman calling herself "A Mom of Triplets" (MOT) likened embryo adoption to buying bread rolls at the supermarket and baking them at home when you don't have flour and milk to make your own bread from scratch. MOT opted for a closed adoption, sort of like passing those brown-and-serve rolls off as your own work.

MOT's essay reflects a huge amount of self-satisfaction yet she ignores the most basic looming issues. When her children ask MOT why they don't look like their parents, will she deny the unusual arrangement that brought them into the world?  How will MOT answer when the children's doctors ask the "does anyone in the family have ..."?  How will MOT respond if the triplets decide to search for their genetic parents and siblings?

Adoptees from the closed adoptions are fighting for laws allowing them to access their records so they can learn their origins. Oregon may soon allow adoptees to look at their court files, and Ohio and Washington just passed legislation allowing greater access to original birth certificates. We see numerous cases of biological siblings united through tearful reunions. If biology counted for nothing, these connections would not be important. Meanwhile, generations of snow flake babies and babies born from donated eggs or sperm  are being born. They will face even greater hurdles in learning their original identities.--jane

*Like everything else connected with adoption, when money is to be made, practitioners cast legalities aside. In 2009 The University of California at Irvine settled cases for $27.7 million brought by 156 couples whose embryos were sold without their consent. UCI apparently considered embryos medical waste or spare body parts that it could sell at a profit.

Snowflakes Embryo Adoption
DHHS Embryo Adoption
The problem with 'embryo adoption'
Obama defunds 'snowflake babies'
Bake-at-home Babies: Embryo Adoption and Me

Botched embryo implants garner sympathy--Birthmothers? Fudheddaboudit
Lethal Secrets  
"The psychology of donor insemination presents both problems and solutions. In the world of alternative means of conception, donor insemination is the parent procedure, the most available, successful and egalitarian. Breaking the bonds of silence and ending secrecy is necessary, the authors believe, to address the inherent psyhchological problems. As the world continues headlong down the road of high-tech procedures and methodologies, there is a need to maintain a strong sense of importance of the human element and historical, genetic connections."--Amazon


  1. Agree with everything you say. It creeps me out also. It also causes more of an "ownership" issue because they are being carried by the non genetic mother.

    I saw an article a few years back about a mother that carried a child via donated egg( I believe) It was so slanted to the needs of this mother it was disgusting. They would not state their names and it was the biofather that was being interviewed. He supported his wife in her feelings of NOT TELLING THE CHILD WHERE THEY CAME FROM ! They did not think it was necessary and would make mom feel like less of a mom. It described her problems with infertility and the pain she went through and how telling this child would just compound the problem...HER infertility. I was appalled. I see that worse then adoption in terms of the needs of the child. At least in adoption there is a perceived need for the best interest of the child. Of course we all know it reality thats not always the truth but in some cases it is.

    I remember discussing this with some mothers that either had In Vitro or adopted and they supported this woman's feelings. It is getting more and more scary on how birthing children is to fulfill the needs of the moms with no insight on the child produced. Think thats how the term "baby lust " started.

    I don't have any answers for this man and I understand his feelings. But to think that you have family members out there that are full sibs to your children would be just as difficult to any first mother out there. The lack feeling for the child's needs would be harmful for the child and the craziness that we adoptees are going through would be worse for this "snowflake" human beings.

    Just wanted to add why does nobody talk about helping these poor woman who can't have children coming to terms with that loss and not try to fix it first.

  2. dpen, I read your comment after (and Jane's post before) attending a family wedding, my sister-in-law's second. It kept the issue very much in my mind of how some women feel utterly entitled to a child, whether by hook, crook, or "brown and serve."

    My SIL has led a very privileged life, and the only things that didn't come as soon as she wished were marriage and then motherhood. She was, shall we say, displeased by the arrival of her first two nephews. When she learned the third was on his way, she threw a huge tantrum and said she wasn't going to speak to her brother or me until she was ready, nor would she apologize.

    Fortunately she did have a child (now in college) with her former husband, and when I saw him last night with his cousins, yes, you could see the resemblance, which Jane's words made even more acute in my eyes. My SIL would have moved heaven and earth to have a baby... but what if there wasn't a genetic link obvious to the eye? How to explain?

    Mind you, my baby lust was just as powerful as hers, and I've been very fortunate. However, my sense of entitlement? To anything? Pffft. And since adoption ravaged a branch of my family, it simply never was an option. After my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, in an attempt to soothe us both, my husband fumbled out, "we could always adopt..." I sobbed, "NO!"

  3. Oh the irony, dpen, the irony. You know, we come here to rally, to sob, to vent, and to rant. And when someone has the gall to suggest we first mother's get therapy so we can "come to terms" with the loss...we not so subtly say that it's not that easy.

    And here you went and suggested that infertile women do the same thing! Oh, the irony.

    My niece was born without ovaries, should she just "come to terms" about not being able to have children? My best friend was born without the ability to hear? Should her parents have just gotten her therapy so she could "come to terms" with it? Or, how about my neighbor who lost his legs in the war? Should he just sit at home and remember his legs? The answer here is, of course, NO.

    Thankfully, my niece is too young to worry about her fertility and still thinks boys are "yicky". Thankfully, my best friend's parents fought like hell to get her a cochlear implant, so she can hear the sound of her child laughing. And Mike, my neighbor, he's getting fitted for his prosthetic legs in a few weeks.

    And me? Due to secondary infertility, I'll be using the miracle of science to conceive my second child. That child won't have my genetics, but will have my love. And Jane, it doesn't creep me out at all, not any more than you telling me what to do with my own body.

  4. Sandra:

    you creep me out.

    that Me Me Me attitude.

    Life isn't fair, is it? The other cases you mention have ways to deal with them that do not involve creating other people or getting someone else's kid to satisfy a need. That is the big difference. Before you or your family member start creating children in the likeness of someone else, read some of the blogs by children of sperm donors.

  5. I don't understand why these Frankenparents can't just accept reality, and do something else with their lives. If can't conceive, then grow up and get over it. The way these people hurt kids with all these unnatural acts they aren't mature enough to be parents anyway.

  6. Sandra, uh people who cannot hear do not hurt an innocent person by having Frankenears made for themselves so they can. Men disabled in war don't hurt other people to have Frankenlegs made for themselves so they can walk again.
    But you infertile women DO hurt innocent children by making THEM Frankenpeople just because you are to selfish and immature to deal with your pain without hurting someone else. And I also agree with Shelly. You creep me out too.

  7. The entire lack of consciousness and regulation in the world of ART astounds me. They didn't want to look at how adoption has evolved and tried to understand because they said it was different. It isn't and even worse now that the kids are all grown up and are speaking as adults - they are also having to go through the same dismissal that adult adoptees still deal with.

    I could have understood if the ART industry had studied adoption and set out to do everything right - right of access to genetic roots, right of access to records that were filed in a court, required to tell and if you didn't the long-form birth certificate held the info. So many other things they could have mandated be done - for the child. But they didn't want to put a crimp on the potential profits, so they chose to bury their heads in the sand, cross their fingers, and toes, and plead ignorance if it turned out they should have known better. SAD

    I have no advice for the people who asked the question - other than perhaps advocate publicly that strick guidelines be enforced, which I believe have a limit on number of eggs retrieved at one time to six, and only the number of embryos created is the amount to be implanted. Advocate for ethics first and foremost.

  8. Well...if the embryos already exist, I kind of see Sandra's point...maybe.
    But how cavalier is Sandra? Comparing the loss of a limb to secondary infertility? Not the same thing at all Sandra. Trust me.
    Regardless, Sandra, you are going to be raising a genetic stranger.
    Funny, today's adoptees are threatened to be grateful because they could have been aborted (not likely) but this new generation of donor embryo kids will truly be told to be grateful because they could have been used for science experiments or thrown in an incinerator! Think about what a number THAT reality can do to a person

  9. Embryo adoption creeps me out, too. However, every human being began life as an embryo and every human being who already exists deserves a shot at life. The embryos should not have been created in the first place, but now that they have been, there are nine human beings who should not be flushed down the toilet on account of our shared disgust at how they came into being.

  10. Sandra, My point is that reality is reality and if a person can not conceive its a very sad thing. the difference between a person getting new legs or a woman getting new ovaries or whatever is that the only person impacted is THAT person...when you start to play with the another human being and having them fulfill your needs and then get all insulted and call it an Irony tells me you don't get the point do you? YES woman who are infertile NEED help to cope with that loss BEFORE they bring an innocent child into the mix.. Talking about the child here not the mothers GET IT?

    I totally support an expectant mother to get GOOD counseling before she places for the good of her and more importantly THE CHILD...human being that will live with the consequences of not being related. And have those parents not tell them the truth because it hurts mommy and daddy..tell me who needs the counseling? Wait, tell the person conceived that way to get counseling and to just get over it, and be thankful they are alive...tell them to just keep quiet because if they tell their feelings they will be ungrateful and they will have the problem...not the mother who has made the choice to carry a non genetic person to life..right?

    Sorry, I say its up to the mothers to come to grip with their situation, not he person born to fulfill their needs.

    As far as In vitro with the same genes I have not problem its when you start to bring others, real human, not just cute little babies..into that i object.

  11. "I'll be using the miracle of science to conceive my second child. That child won't have my genetics, but it will have my love. "

    I am curious to know how a woman can think she is "conceiving" when the eggs - even if they have been implanted inside her - are not actually her own. I am not sure if this is what Sandra means, but If it is, it sounds more like a type of gestational surrogacy.

  12. The IVF industry is incredibly huge. In Spain this has become a major issue with the economy in shambles. Women go to different clinics and lie to gain income. They will go until they run out of eggs. Just how healthy would these eggs be in a depleted woman? Then there is the case of the Spanish woman who had IVF at 65, carried twins, had her sibs in their 70s help her financially, and then died of cancer at 67.

    This is definitely Brave New World territory to my mind. The poor babies!

    Query Spain and IVF. It will make your skin crawl.

  13. "Then there is the case of the Spanish woman who had IVF at 65, carried twins, had her sibs in their 70s help her financially, and then died of cancer at 67."

    I remember this story but did not realize the woman died when the kids were two. Thanks for the update, which also creeps me out. Thanks, SaraC

  14. The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program was developed by Nightlight Christian Adoptions in 1997 to provide families with remaining embryos the opportunity to place, give or donate those embryos to another couple with the same “social services” as in the adoption of a child. Adoption research regarding traditional adoption yields the seven core issues an adopted child encounters. These
    Include loss, rejection, guilt/shame, grief, identity, intimacy, and control. In case of embryo donation the children cannot avoid these issues, and they have no choice but to go through the same lifelong issues. Providing the embryo adopting families, and the genetic families with education about the needs of the donor child means that these children are given the tools learned from adoption research to help them navigate into adulthood.

    Of course there are legal differences between traditional adoption and embryo adoption or donation. Of course it is different to place an embryo than to place a child who has been born. But the answer is to not ignore the fact that there are 600,000 frozen human embryos in the US. The embryos have a full complement of chromosomes and need only a nice warm, nurturing womb to grow into a fetus, then a baby, then a toddler, then a teenager, then an adult and finally a senior citizen. Persons, embodied with all the emotions, medical needs, and rights of any other person. By applying what we have learned in analogous situations, ie adoption, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. The embryos need a loving families, and there are families out there unable to conceive on their own who have the ability to provide just that.

    The process should be about the needs of the embryo, and not the needs of the infertile to have a child.

  15. Dear Snowflake 2013, you have snowflakes on the brain if you think that creating 600,000 children who will grow up with genetic strangers and never know anyone who looks like them except by accident is a good idea.

    Get real. The chromosomes may be there, but the embryo is not feeling the imaginary stuff you are thinking. The "needs" of the embryo? You have lost the ability to think.

  16. Well Viktoria, in February the first Dutch embryo-donation baby was born, the "birth mother" and her child were in good health. They started back in 2010. Frozen embryos really do not all survive that well.

    Though there is a bit about semi-anonymous donorship, the Dutch embryo donation baby gets for the 16th birthday ID-ing info (Name and address) and the right to meet. Commercial embryo adoption, is of course outlawed.


  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk

    Remember "Every Sperm is Sacred"?

  18. There are Jews in the world there are Buddhists
    There are Hindus and Mormons, and then
    There are those that follow Mohammed,
    but I've never been one of them

    I'm a Roman Catholic
    And have been since before I was born
    And the one thing they say about Catholics is
    They'll take you as soon as you're warm

    You don't have to be a six-footer
    You don't have to have a great brain
    You don't have to have any clothes on you're A Catholic the moment Dad came

    Because every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God gets quite irate

    Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God gets quite irate

    Let the heathen spill theirs
    On the dusty ground
    God shall make them pay for
    Each sperm that can't be found

    Every sperm is wanted
    Every sperm is good
    Every sperm is needed
    In your neighborhood

    Hindu, Taoist, Mormon
    Spill theirs just anywhere
    But God loves those who treat their Semen with more care

    Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God get quite irate

    Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is good
    Every sperm is needed
    In your neighborhood

    Every sperm is useful
    Every sperm is fine
    God needs everybody's
    Mine and mine and mine

    Let the pagan spill theirs
    Over mountain, hill, and plain
    God shall strike them down for
    Each sperm that's spilt in vain

    Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is good
    Every sperm is needed
    In your neighborhood
    Every sperm is sacred

  19. Yes, but though there might not be much moral difference between semen and eggs, there is a considerable difference between egg donation and semen donation. That difference, involving discomfort and health risk, makes human eggs (and embryos) a valuable commodity, while it makes egg donation a practice not to be encouraged.
    The use of surplus embryos as a treatment for infertility, decreasing the demand for egg donation and neonate adoption, while succesfully treating infertility, may have its ethical problems, but IF one thinks baby adoption and pregnancy by the use of donated semen are ethically acceptable, embryo adoption has to be accepted too. However, if this practice descends into the creation of embryos to implant in the wombs of strangers, we are talking about something much worse, though nevertheless not quite as creepy as neonate adoption.

  20. Under the best of circumstances, an embryo that is 5 days old, created with the egg of a woman in her 20s, has only a 60% chance to be a live baby. Embryos are not usually created from this best case scenario. The older the woman who gives the egg, the less the chances of a live baby. A certain number of eggs will not fertilize, of those that fertilize some wont divide, some will day on day one or stop dividing however you want to think of it, some on day 2, some on day 3. All this makes a difference. If only it was as simple as nine embryos makes 9 babies, just bake for nine months.

  21. You people are ignorant. I think it;s sad that all you have to do is look down upon someone who has tried their hardest to have a baby, and can't. So we shall just "come to terms" with it shall we? Guess what?! We didnt choose to be infertile, nor did we ask any one of you snotty BI****S!! We choose to do the embyro adoption, because we want to experience what all of the other mothers who put thier baby up for adoption. We want to fill our baby kick inside of us, we want to give birth to him or her. So next time you look down on us for taking advantage of sciences miracle, think about all the women who abort thier baby, or adopt out thier baby. Only then you can judge us!! At least we're making a difference for those children and science isn't making them freaks!

  22. Miranda Hance said...
    You people are ignorant. I think it;s sad that all you have to do is look down upon someone who has tried their hardest to have a baby, and can't. So we shall just "come to terms" with it shall we? Guess what?! We didnt choose to be infertile, nor did we ask any one of you snotty BI****S!! We choose to do the embyro adoption, because we want to experience what all of the other mothers who put thier baby up for adoption. We want to fill our baby kick inside of us, we want to give birth to him or her. So next time you look down on us for taking advantage of sciences miracle, think about all the women who abort thier baby, or adopt out thier baby. Only then you can judge us!! At least we're making a difference for those children and science isn't making them freaks!

    June 15, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Wow... I'm not quite sure why this has been so upsetting to you. I don't think that suggesting counselling in order to come to terms with a bodily malfunction is problematic. Of course it doesn't -solve- the problem in the most satisfactory way but it is not a bad idea to first come to grips with such an impacting condition before taking actions that could have hugely negative consequences for others. It must really blow to be infertile... I don't think anyone has said otherwise and of course no one thinks you chose it.

    Scientific advances are, in fact, creating humans who are in some sense freaks... dictionary.com gives the following as a definition for the word: "any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object; anomaly; aberration." Sorry, but being brought to life in a laboratory and incubated by someone who did not produce the gametes that produced you is, in fact, abnormal and phenomenal.

    I also don't believe you are being "looked down upon" so much as being cautioned about the potentially negative outcome(s) of creating people in this way. Saying, "think about the children you are creating before you act" =/= "you're a horrible person for wanting to experience pregnancy and have a child".

  23. Sorry but many genetic families are dysfunctional and "just wrong" so one cannot assume life is better with genetic family members... nor can one assume life cannot be great with non-genetic family members. Unless you're a result of that situation, you just don't know... and even if you are, each person is different. But everyone has the right to their own opinion for sure.

  24. Josie: It sounds as if you had a dystunctional family, and I am sorry for that. However, growing up in a family to whom you are not biologically related is growing up with one hand tied behind your back.

    You sound as if you are either buying an egg, or selling one.

  25. I was the woman who asked this question. We still have not decided what we are going to do with our embryos. However, I need to clear up a couple of inaccuracies. When embryos are thawed they don't all survive. Approximately 1/3 don't survive the thawing process so in embryo adoption the adoptive family will adopt all the embryos. Also, all the same statistics for a pregnancy to actually occur exist as in traditional IVF. Under the best of circumstances the adoptive mother has about a 40% chance getting pregnant. There's a possibility no children will be born from an embryo adoption even with 9 embryos. In addition, many embryo adoptions stipulate any unused embryos are returned to the donors.

    As far as frozen embryos being unhealthy, recent research shows babies born from frozen embryo transfers are actually healthier. Ours are especially healthy because we had PGD testing on our embryos. We know we have 9 genetically perfect embryos, 6 females, 3 males.

    I was raised in an atheist household and claim no religious affiliation. My attachment to my embryos is based on the difficulty I went through to create them. As well as my adoration for my amazing beautiful son. He is so perfect and amazing I think about the embryos and wish I could bring them all into the world. At least give them a chance to exist! However, I suffered a partial placental abruption with my son at 20 weeks. I lost liters of blood, had blood transfusions, was hospitalized for months. The doctors can't tell me it won't happen again. They can tell me my chance of it happening again are 10 times greater than the average woman.

    This process has been hard. Our fertility issues are not mine, but my husbands. His sperm doesn't swim well. We had the DNA inside his sperm tested and it was excellent. We had to under go ICSI to fertilize my eggs. Since, I am a healthy, young woman I produced a large quantity of eggs. Then they developed into very high quality embryos. None of our embryos are low quality and if I was a very rich person I would pay for every single one of them to be carried by a gestational surrogate. I can not wrap my head around taking them home to sit on the dresser and thaw like some of my friends have done. I look at all their pictures I have and a see a bundle of cells with the potential to become as perfect and beautiful as my son. I also want my son to have a chance to have full siblings out there he can develop a connection with even if its later in life.

    I find any scenario I consider now difficult for different reasons. Especially because I have long followed blogs by First Mothers and am socially outspoken about the predatory, explotive aspects of adoption in the United States. However, I don't know where I fit in. I'm not a birth mother giving up a child who has been born. I literally would be risking my own life by becoming pregnant again, but I desperately want my embryos to have a chance at least to be born. I wonder if they would have all the same identity issues that can come with traditional adoption or would it be different for them because their adoptive parent would actually give birth to them and nurse them at her breasts. Would they feel sad our doctor didn't pick them to be transferred or would they be glad we didn't want them destroyed. Would they understand I could not physically give them a safe womb to develop in and decided to give them a chance anyway?

    Anyway, thank you for addressing my question. It gives me a lot to think about. However, it was important for me clear up the inaccuracies.

  26. Me and my husband have both problems, I have preovarian failure, was pregnant once with my eggs and my husband s sperm, but m/c at 7 weeks. We tried to have à baby for 5 years. Those of you who don't have Problems to conceive just don't know what WE are going through.
    Now we are looking into egg and sperm donation. We don't want to use frozen embryos because we thought it is hard to understand for the child to know that somewhere he/she has siblings. Our child has à right to be unique, as every other child. It s à very difficult desicion. We are still Not sure about what is the right thing to do for the child to be. Please don't judge infertile women. NO we are not selfish. We have à lot of Love to give and if we finally go for double donation and a child is born we will do the best we can that this child has a wonderful life.

  27. Rain, there are women out there that would carry a baby for you, so long as it didn't cost them anything financially. I myself am one. My husband and I had our first child with the assistance of donor sperm and then by an absolute miracle had our second child without any assistance. I asked our fertility clinic about donating eggs (our fertility issues were due to my husband having incredibly low sperm count and myself not ovulating on a predictable schedule) as a way to give back. I was not a good canidate due to my low response to fertility meds. I have thought of gestational surrogacy multiple times, though have never been asked. You never know who in your life would be happy to help you grow your family unless you talk about it. Talk with your friends and family even your fertility clinic. Not everyone is motivated by money. I hope you find peace in whatever choice you make.

  28. Try and try:
    When you say donor sperm, our question is: will the child you created be able to know his true heritage from both sides of his makeup? Love is expected, but love is really not enough.

    When you talk about donating your eggs, or embryos, are you also donating your name and identity? To create children without a sense of wholeness about who they are is ethically and morally wrong. They will grow up to be adolescents who will have a hard enough time forming their identity without the huge hole that anonymous egg, sperm and embryo donation leaves. They will grow up to be individuals without a full sense of being tethered to the continual tree of life because biologically they are not sure where they fit in. Though surrogacy typically exploits women with fewer resources who offer their bodies for payment, it is not the great crime of this generation. The great crime is creating an individual with only a partial identity.

    Anytime an individual is created without a full of genetic and cultural data, you create someone missing part of his or her identity. A Brave New World indeed. I fear for the future of mankind. I fear for us all.

  29. Although there may be truth with something at some point in this rant, I am astounded at the overwhelming ignorance and judgment in the initial post and many comments. I will not try to address everything because clearly it would be futile. Women DO deserve to have a child, no matter what THEIR background (perhaps adopted themselves) and no one has a right to judge them for this or any desires. There are challenges with any form of parenting and embryo adoption will bring up unique ones. However, there are plenty of biological children who do not fit into their own family physically or as far as interests go. Or people who go through fertility treatments with their own genetic "material", where there is a risk of multiples who end up in the NICU where I worked for years, and may have lifelong health issues if they even survive. Make decisions that are right for you, objectively look at the pros and cons, and stop passing judgment so self-righteously on others. And this is from someone who grew up with my loving biological family and has two biological children.

    1. Women have children. They do not "deserve" to have children. Children do not deserve to be moved around like so many automobile parts, but belong in their family of origin.

  30. Some of the commenters here state that infertile women should just come to terms with it and move on instead of feeling like they have a right to raise a stranger's baby. Where were these commenters when Baby Veronica was ripped from her biological faher's arms and given to strangers in South Carolina by order of the governor Nikki Haley? And it was all because her father did not consent to the adoption while he was deployed but the mother did. Most people took the side of the adoptive parents. Even the US Supreme Court took their side and made it solely a race issue (ICWA) to sidestep the other issues. And now here are all this vitriolic trolls on the blog, dragging women through the mud for wanting to bring life into the world with the biological parents' consent and blessings. It's not about the best interests of the children to some commenters. It's about protecting the reality that they are comfortable with. Well guess what, other people have the right to choose their own paths in life and it does not concern you. As far as the kids, many kids raised by biological parents know that they have half siblings being raised elsewhere and nobody is scarred by that. They just end up having more family members. That's it. And if a child is adopted out at 5 years old or 5 days old, or 5 hours after being fertilized in a dish, what is the difference? It's still an adoption. Would you say you are happy to be alive? How selfish then does a person have to be to want to deny life to other human beings for the sake of satisfying their own ideology? Those are the real freaks. And no, I'm not an egg donor or a birth mother but the best friend of an adopted adult who stumbled upon this blog and I'm appalled by what I have read here by the post writer and some of these comments.



COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish.

We cannot edit or change the comment in any way. Entire comment published is in full as written. If you wish to change a comment afterward, you must rewrite the entire comment.

We DO NOT post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.