Moral and Practical beauty of Embryo Adoption

Like any other day, I am talking to you from the same place I always do, which is my little study, but today it has been turned into a nursery for the twins that were born to my daughter and her husband about four and a half months ago. They are down for a visit from Indiana. And since I also have my 100 year old mother-in-law living with us, all of a sudden we have run out of room and this has now become the nursery. It is a delightful thing, but it also means that I have to find other places to do my work this week, which I am happy to do.

This is kind of the practical beauty of embryo adoption because these two children were until a year ago, frozen embryos. Frozen embryos are one of the sad results that happen from the very common in vitro fertilization process (IVF). It is common even among Christians, though I think it’s unethical, and I think I will take some time to explain why I think that is a bad moral choice in a future post. But for now, I will explain the processes and raise some questions about IVF.

One of the downsides of IVF is that it produces a lot of embryos. These are babies that have been conceived and are now frozen when they are about three to five days old. Through that IVF process, multiple embryos are created in the lab and then frozen once the couple has the baby that they want or the two babies that they want.

What happens with these frozen embryos? These “snowflake babies” as we sometimes refer to them, these children on ice to be more brutal about it, are just left in a state of being frozen. They can neither live nor die. That is an unethical crisis in my view. They are human beings. They need to be rescued, they really do. These two babies were officially adopted so that they could be implanted into my daughter and they implanted both babies.

In my view, these babies need to be rescued, which was a great relief when my daughter called and she asked me what I thought about the biblical ethics or the biblical moral reasoning behind “snowflake baby” adoption.My attitude was, even though there are some ethicists who think it’s wrong to adopt them or it is wrong to do anything with them, to me that’s a very clear line. If they are human beings, which they are after conception, then they need to be treated as human beings. We need to treat them the way we would want ourselves to be treated.

Whenever we are trapped in a situation where we want to be rescued, the Bible calls us to rescue those who are in trouble. So I think that clearly all of these frozen embryos, these snowflake babies, qualify for the act of rescue. And just like we help mothers who are in a pregnancy related crisis all over the world today, I think Christians need to think about embryo adoption and rescue these children from the freezer and bring them to life. If they die in the process, so be it. That’s God’s will. But to try rescuing them is important.

In my daughter’s case, both babies that were implanted survived and are now with us and are almost five months old. This is the moral and the practical beauty of what happens when Christians answer the call to rescue. It just creates many streams of beauty and of life being saved and life being nurtured. I really encourage you, if you are struggling with infertility or you are considering adoption to also consider embryo adoption. Consider rescuing these small ones. They are worthy and they will be a blessing to you. Thank you.