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Embryo Adoption

ALL does not view the act of frozen embryo adoption as morally illicit. That which is sinful actually occurred during the IVF process in which the child was created. The “leftover frozen embryo” is indeed a human being, a person, who, although created in a laboratory, was nevertheless created by God, has a soul, and is now living life in a suspended, frozen state. To allow this tiny human to “thaw” and be washed down the lab sink or dissected for his stem cells would be murder!

The only difference, really, between adopting a “snowflake baby” and a baby who is 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years old is how the parents would care for this child. The embryonic child must be nurtured in the adoptive mother’s womb for a time and be birthed, but this is not morally any different than providing shelter, feeding, and caring for a child outside of the womb.

The Church insists that IVF is immoral because the procedure strikes at the very core and meaning of marital sexuality. It substitutes an act of laboratory manipulation for an act of bodily union between spouses. It turns procreation into production.

IVF is really the flip side of contraception; rather than trying to have sex without babies, we try to have babies without sex. Because so many people have come to view sex largely in terms of recreation, they have lost touch with the grave violations that occur both in contraceptive sex and IVF.

Remember, however, that the moral violations that occur in IVF do not reflect upon the child, who is innocent. It is not the baby’s fault in any way. The child has no control over how he or she got here. Regardless of how a baby comes into the world, that baby is always a gift and a blessing.

So, again, the sin has already occurred in the process of creating a child through IVF and freezing him. To adopt this child and allow him to continue to develop is not a sinful act but one of saving his life.

For further information, see “Frozen Embryo Adoption: A Second Look.”