My children were conceived via in-vitro fertilization. Since then, I’ve had a roller coaster of an emotional journey. As someone who is a lifelong pro-lifer, IVF is anything but simple — and it’s why I’m choosing embryo adoption. We will likely work with Nightlight Christian Adoptions when the time comes.
I recently wrote for World Magazine about the concerns Christians should have surrounding IVF. Column length didn’t permit me to share my personal story, but I did want to share that with you, my readers & friends.
For those that don’t know, embryo adoption means our frozen embryos will be donated and couples that are struggling to conceive can legally adopt them and attempt to give birth to them and give them life. It might sound weird, but it’s the only option for someone who knows these embryos are already human life.
IVF Concerns and Embryo Adoption
Here’s the portion that was cut from my article:
“The lack of information given to parents who enter into the fertility space is something to behold, as well. It’s a reality I know personally, all too well. As someone who entered naively into the world of fertility clinics and forgotten children, I felt bamboozled in the aftermath. It was only after rounds of tests, awkward questionnaires, painful shots and undergoing the IVF procedure that I became aware one could walk away with many more embryos than I would ever actually birth. Perhaps I should have been more educated, but when they didn’t offer more information, I didn’t ask. And most Christians I’ve spoken with about IVF are not aware of what really happens in the process.
After watching a friend walk away from several rounds of IVF with an empty wallet and a silent womb, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. To my surprise, my treatment was wildly successful, resulting in the creation of many healthy embryos. But instead of ecstasy, I was gripped with cold fear — immediately recognizing the reality that I had willingly participated in creating human beings that I could not realistically raise. There was no “embyro mix-up” in my case, but the results of the IVF procedure left me in a similar wake: happy to be pregnant with a child I wanted so much, but heartbroken over the unforeseen consequences of this unembodied pro-creation I’d participated in.
Today, I have given birth to two of my snowflake babies, and think often of the others, preserved in time and awaiting a womb in which to grow. Unlike the vast majority of IVF patients with leftover embryos, I’ll be donating them to a Christian embryo adoption agency, which works with couples unable to have their own children. In this scenario, my frozen babies will one day have a chance at life and that, in my opinion, is the only right decision left for me to make.”
IVF is certainly a miracle, but there is nothing simple about it. My heart breaks thinking of the frozen babies I have that remain. And you won’t hear a lot of conversation about any of this. I am putting it out there for conversation, and awareness for those who may make this choice in the future.
The Humanity of an Embryo
“Hundreds of thousands of embryos sit frozen on ice in the United States—tiny lives abandoned after parents achieve the successful pregnancies they sought using IVF. In the secular, Western world, where unborn people have zero human rights, a pre-implanted embryo is little more than an afterthought. And while most people unfamiliar with IVF don’t know the ins and outs, the term “embryo” should draw Christians to attention.
An embryo is a fertilized egg complete with a biological sex and full DNA code including eye color, personality traits and genetic conditions. Just a few years ago, model Chrissy Teigan and her husband, singer John Legend, admitted they had chosen which gender they wanted from their spate of successful embryos after IVF. Patients can also choose pre-implantation genetic testing, which can essentially weed out genetically “inferior” embryos.
This is often done in effort to select the embryo with the greatest chance of survival, but it sounds dangerously like fashioning a “designer baby” all your own. And while we frown in disgust at countries like Iceland, ridding their population of people with Down Syndrome through abortion—these less obvious testing methods to remove the “imperfect” aren’t any better. The reality is that every frozen embryo is a preserved person just waiting to be given a chance to live.”
You can see my columns at World Magazine every week or two, as I am a regular columnist there. Sign up for my email list to get links sent to you once a month or so!