I’m going on a rant. There are two articles in circulation on Facebook that portray very negative attitudes toward embryo adoption. One quotes a teenager who was donor conceived stating she wishes she hadn’t been born; the other says that embryo adoption exists solely to meet the needs to adults who believe life begins at conception and those who want children. The author states that embryo adoption creeps them out. The premise is that being raised by genetic strangers is isolating and potentially damaging. One person commented that we are “frankenparents.”
Obviously, I’m biased. I also have a Christian world view and believe that life does begin at conception. I’ve commented on several postings. I know that there will questions that I cannot answer for Grant and Maria. I’m not naive in thinking they won’t have questions. I’m not naive to think that they won’t wonder about their genetic family. I wonder about them. But, it doesn’t change that Jeremy and I are their parents and we love Grant and Maria unconditionally. Would they have been better off frozen indefinitely due to lack of genetic connections?
One person commented that genetic roots are important and not having the mother-child bond in utero is detrimental. Guess what? We had that bond. I can still feel Grant’s head pushing into my rib cage when he stretched and Maria dancing on my liver. Does lack of DNA mean we can’t bond? And what about traditional adoption, are those children scarred because they aren’t with the mother who carried them? Would they have been better off in an unsafe situation or orphanage?
For us, we chose embryo adoption because I wanted to experience pregnancy, but didn’t feel right going through IVF knowing embryos existed in a big frozen nursery. Yes, IVF created some ethical dilemmas. But, embryo adoption is a life honoring answer to the dilemma of what to do when a woman can not carry another child or chooses not to carry another child. Thankfully, we don’t see the large numbers of embryos that were created in the earlier days of IVF, but we have an ethical and moral obligation to deal with those who were created and wait in limbo.
Embryo adoption, like any adoption, will have unknowns. But not knowing doesn’t make any child, whether frozen or already born, any less worthy of having a loving home. I know some pretty crappy genetic families. And I know some pretty awesome adoptive families. Shared DNA isn’t required to make a good family or a good life. A life is a life no matter how small.