Thinking about IVF vs Embryo Adoption
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Well, I’m happy to welcome a couple of guests today, uh, and I have here Ben and his wife Megan Sulser, who live in Evansville, Indiana, with their two children, Torrin and Ben. And I wanted them to join us today because of their particularly interesting story. Megan is, uh, my daughter. And today my study has become the nursery, so there are two cribs behind us.

But, uh, uh, Everybody loves children, and, uh, uh, tell us a little bit about, uh, your experience with these two kids, um, and embryo adoption.

Alright, yeah, so Torrin and Monty are adopted, but not adopted the typical way. Embryo adoption is less known, and it’s when you actually adopt an embryo. And then you have it transferred to the adoptive mother’s womb.

So Megan gave birth to these babies, but they’re not genetically related to us. And, uh, the way that comes about is that, um, during IVF or in vitro fertilization, which is where, um, a husband and a wife have their sperm and eggs collected And then put together under glass, you know, in a lab in vitro means in glass, uh, that generates typically a lot of embryos.

And, um, very often the families who have those embryos and who give birth to those IVF babies have many embryos left over.


hmm. Those leftover embryos, anything could happen to them. Any number of things. They could be frozen for years, and then, uh, maybe the family would take them out and try to give birth to them.

The original genetic family. They could be given to science, donated to science, which is a euphemism for being killed for the purposes of research. Ah. They could be abandoned indefinitely. Some significant percentage in the United States of these frozen embryos are abandoned indefinitely. Okay, they could perish in, um, in a, in a laboratory accident, you know, uh, cryopreservation unit, a freezer that they’re in could go down and then maybe the fertility clinic would be sued.

That’s happened in some, um, important cases in the United States, or they could be given away to other families. And I say given away because in a lot of fertility clinics you might visit, it’s just like, here’s a box of extra puppies. Does anyone want these? And that’s how they treat the embryos. Um, these embryos are not considered people, not considered children.

Under the federal government or under state’s laws. And state’s laws is where things could change most easily. But, currently, if, if, if a family wanted to donate their extra embryos to us, to give birth to, that would be a transfer of property. So embryo adoption, of course, is the is the moral and the ethical and the spiritual reality of what’s going on.

Because these are people we know that we know that little embryos are made in the image of God from the moment of conception. But in our nation, they’re not treated that way. And so there are a couple of agencies that treat the process of donating embryos as adoption. In other words, they treat it as the reality it is.

And you get little people who scream and

cry and

play like this. So you went

through a process to actually, uh, adopt Embryos. And by the way, I’m going to show you here a picture of these two very children when they were embryos. They were only three days old. Uh, Megan, tell us a little bit more about your personal experience then with embryo adoption.

About, like, how the organization that we went through handles it, or Well,

just for somebody who might be more curious about your experiences Yeah.

Well, like a lot of couples, we struggled with infertility, and that was a big part of our story. And we, we explored, you know, all the options. There’s, you know, there’s the foster system, and there’s infant adoption, and embryo adoption now, which is the lesser known type.

Yeah. Um, and so I think for us, we just really came to see what a beautiful opportunity embryo adoption is because these are babies that need to be rescued. You know, they’re, they’re frozen and they’re stuck. They don’t have families. There’s no warm place for them to grow. There’s no, you know, love for them.

So we really saw that their need and. Just also the beauty of my being able to carry them to term and yeah, you know be their birth mom and bond with them and We really like the organization that we that we went through because they treat treated the whole situation like typical adoption We did a home study and


have we actually have an open adoption Agreement with their biological parents.

So when they as they grow up they can We They can get their questions answered, and they can choose to have a relationship at some point in the future, and So, it just, for us, it felt like, you know, the right path forward, and the way that God was going to answer our prayers in many different ways. Mm


From an ethical perspective, this falls under the pro life movement, in the sense that while we’re trying to rescue babies from abortion, or other times, kinds of intentional killing of innocent children, babies that are embryos, human life at the earliest stages, are being stuck into a freezer and left there and abandoned and you’re in effect rescuing them.



And as well as fulfilling your own desire to have a family.


So, So let’s get into the really complicated issue. Either one of you can jump in on this. Sure. But, again, since both in vitro and embryo adoption are relatively new to average folks, um, briefly explain the kind of the moral differences between the two and why you oppose, from an ethical perspective, the practice of in vitro fertilization.

But why are you such an advocate of embryo adoption? Sure.

Go. I’ll start and say that, um, in vitro fertilization, there’s a lot of ways to think about the ethical problems because there’s a number of different problems that come along. Kind of maybe the most, the easiest one to grab onto, um, is that IVF came about through the killing of babies.

Um, It was impossible for Robert Edwards, who’s the doctor who pioneered human IVF, um, to make it work, make it result in the birth of a live baby, which it finally did, and I think it was 1971 with the birth of Louise Brown in Britain. But right around there, um, my date might be a little off. It was impossible for him to make that work without first creating and attempting to implant any number of other embryos.

And that resulted in their death. So, to create the one, you had to create the many. You had to create the many and they had to die because it’s a scientific process and it was just a messy business. And then, um, down to this present day, you As we said, when you create embryos under glass, it results in a lot of extra, and many of them die.


then many are left to die. And so, the process has, since it was created, it’s been, uh, it’s created through death, and it’s led to a lot of death. And so that’s, that’s an easy place to say, what’s going on here? Um, thou shalt not murder. This is innocent life. Who are we to create it and subject it to death?

Why are we participating in a technology built on the blood of innocents? And that’s, but that kind of leads to, to the bigger problem. And there’s, there’s still other things we could say, but I’ll just go straight to what I see as the core, the biggest problem. And that’s what Dr. Robert Edwards himself, the pioneer of IVF said in an interview in his later years.

Um, he had been lauded and awarded and celebrated. Because of what he had done. Uh huh. And, and it was, it was thought, and this is the narrative, is what he had done to help infertile women. Right. And so, everything he did was presented as love, as charity, as kindness, as generosity. Which is the way it is today,


That’s right. I mean, even in the debate today, it’s, hey, we’re creating families for people who want families. That’s

right. So, that’s a good goal. And we’re healing infertility. Yeah. So that’s how it’s all put. But what he said was, well What we wanted to see was who is in control of the conception and creation of human life.

Was it us scientists or was it God? It turns out it was us.


that’s just fun. That’s what he said. That’s, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s his fundamental attitude and it, it always was. And I think as soon as you understand that if you see in vitro fertilization as an attempt to take the powers of the creator, then it suddenly makes a lot more sense why.

There was so much death and why there’s so much innocent blood shed Because whenever we try to step into god’s place, which is a form of idolatry Well idolatry always leads to innocent blood being shed. You can’t escape it


so when you try to take god’s place you get murder


that’s that’s what we see happening.

And so the fundamental problem with IVF is that you’re trying to take God’s place. It’s not, um, a legitimate medical technology.

It’s the, it’s the, uh, It’s the, it’s the creating of babies rather than, uh, of letting God grant you a child. That’s right. Would that be another way? That’s right. Yeah.

Making you,

go ahead.

Well, I was just going to say, coming at it from another angle,


you, if you think about, Adoption and why we as Christians believe in adoption and think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s because at the heart of adoption is charity. It’s what’s best for the child. Right. It’s, and of course our needs and desires are met in that and having that child to love and care for, but primarily we wouldn’t support adoption if it weren’t best for the child.


That’s the, the foundational principle and in IVF. It, that is reversed. It’s what’s best for the parents. So the parents. Spend a lot of money to create these children, and a bunch of them die along the way. And maybe one makes it. And that is, nobody can make an argument, that’s what’s best for those children.

Right, right.

It’s what’s best for the parents. So one’s very

marketplace consumer mentality. Commercializing. Commercializing. Trafficking, really, in children. Really, if you

think about the entrance of money into the world of, uh, We try to keep money and children separate because of trafficking. But they’re all mixed up in the world of IVF.

Okay, so in one quick summary, the reason that you have so many ethical questions Uh, concerns and rejection really of IVF as a legitimate righteous practice is that it is a child trafficking business by definition, whereas embryo adoption is a rescue movement.

Absolutely. Those children, just like all the children in the foster care system or any infant that needed to be adopted are in


Yeah. They need a family.

Okay. Well. I know you’re on a journey here and a lot more people are learning more about your journey and about Embryo adoption and I’ve got two beautiful examples of embryo adoption working. You had two babies embryos implanted and here they are sitting here 15 months later.

Um, and if you want to learn more about embryo adoption, feel free to contact me at Passion Life and I will connect you to a couple of sources. Uh, uh, Ben and Megan have found this very introductory book that’s called Life Under Glass, the Ethics of Embryo Adoption. It’s just sort of an entry point. And I think that, uh, A lot more needs to be written both about IVF and embryo adoption since they have a relationship.

But one seems to be full of darkness and the other seems to be full of light. Uh, for your average person to kind of think it through. So, thank you for your testimony. And, um, And may the Lord bless us and expand our understanding of the call to rescue to include not only those who are being killed by abortion or infanticide or gendercide, but through the freezer as well.

Thank you.