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I really enjoyed this article and really identified with it- especially the little part of fearing that IVF will have hurt my children somehow. My husband and I are in the process of donating our two unused embryos to friends of friends suffering (and I mean suffering) with infertility. While it is wierd that my children's full genetic sibling/s may be out there, I know this is the right choice for us. It may not be the easiest decision, but we asked these embryos to be made so that they would be people. We do not have the resources (mainly emotional) to effectively raise another child. I encourage others to consider this option.Best-J
Sadly, this article only reinforces the wisdom that is inherent in Catholic Church teaching on in vitro fertilization. Frozen embryos are human beings in the first stages of development. Yet the author has done what was precisely advanced in the moral arguments against in vitro; she has turned children into a commodity to be had or not had at the whim of the parents. Sometimes using the material and/or social disadvantages that might result with the addition of another baby. Babies are a gift from God, not something to be created when it is convenient or good for us. It is apparent that the author is struggling morally which is good. Something is pricking her conscience (could it possibly that "doctrine" or the moral truths that she abandoned for her own "personal" ethics?) I hope that she will someday come to know the truth.
Although I mostly enjoyed this article, I was sorry to see the author carefully consider every option except for embryo donation -- I realize it's not for everyone, but I think it got short shrift in the article. Not everyone gives the embryos away then gets looked up one day years in the future. Just like the current trend toward open adoption, many embryo donors and recipients are choosing to have open relationships and redefine "family."I have a friend who's pregnant following embryo donation from a known donor. It is a great source of joy to her that her child (and the donor's children) will grow up knowing each other as extended family. Being the recipient of embryo donation is one of the best things that ever happened to her. The donor, though, says that she is the one who has received the gift.For the record, this is an issue that I've thought a lot about, but I've never been faced with it personally because none of my IVF cycles yielded any embryos that could be frozen.
Thank you, Cassandra. I am Cassandra's friend who is currently in my 20th week of pregnancy from an open embryo donation.My donor has been very clear, that although our children will be full genetic siblings, this is MY child. My donor has more financial means than I do, but I can't imagine my child looking at her home and yard (and pool) and thinking "why didn't SHE have me." The embryos were donated to me with love. She recognized the pain of my infertility and gave me a chance to be a mother. It was a long and tough road to this pregnancy, and I truly believe that this is the child I was meant to have. All that said, if I'd been in her shoes, I'm not sure what I would have done. This is a very, very personal decision, and I could never judge anyone's choice.
Interesting article. I've wrestled with the question a number of times. We ended up adopting and still have 9 frozen embryos. I have a health condition that if it did get worse could be improved by the use of stem cells. So after much waffling I decided to keep them as a safety net for myself.
Anonymous, Have you looked into adult stem cell use? Embryonic stem cells are very unstable as opposed to adult stem cells. Adult stem cell use is proving to be successful in many instances.
Dora, I understand the pain of infertility. I have to face it myself. My husband and I have been blessed with an adopted child. No one has the right to judge someone else's soul, however if actions or deeds are not judged in the light of the moral end whether it be good or bad then chaos reigns and people suffer in the long run. Frozen embryos are human beings with the same inherent dignity as anyone fully grown. They are reduced to a commodity to be had or not had according what are ultimately self-centered motives when they are conceived as they are through in-vitro fertilization. If that isn't unfortunate enough, now we have the dilemma of what to do with those extra embryos. We are rapidly becoming a utilitarian society with abortion at any stage of the pregnancy, euthanasia being pushed more and more, clinics where parents may choose the gender, eye color and other genetic traits of their next baby (this in the case in CA). Doctors should be doing more research and treating infertility issues but unfortunately many are influenced by the big money that is to be gained by pursuing illicit procedures such as in-vitro, etc.
I am currently 13 weeks pregnant with frozen embryos that were donated through Open Embryo Adoption. Our children will know the truth from the beginning, our donor family loved them very much, wanted life for them, and realized they were not in a position to emotionally raise more children. So, they made the most loving choice available- adoption.Please feel free to follow my blog @ JensAdoptionBlessings@blogspot.com.
You are in a very difficult situation. I am in agreement with the two other Catholic posters in regards to the moral aspects of your problem. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
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