There are many reasons people adopt. I hear this wording lately of “growing your family through adoption”. I am not sure exactly what that means- it isn’t like a garden where we plant tomatoes and see what grows. We personally are not “growing a family” as if acquisition was the objective. Perhaps I am misreading here but for some reason it is just sort of an odd statement. Another odd statement was recently stated to me in an interview regarding embryo adoption from a researcher in England. They do not have embryo adoption in England so it is a novel thing to them. He stated “Ok, so it is kind of like you want to be a savior”. That bugged me too. No, I don’t want to be a savior, there is only one of those. God is big enough without me to manage every single one of His children that he loves. He doesn’t need me or my womb. He can do it without me. So why in the world would we do something like this on purpose?
I can only speak for myself (and occasionally my husband) regarding this issue. If you have read any of this blog you know that we had a difficult situation with the loss of a little girl in a private adoption. That made a huge impression on us. Why not adopt from Africa or Hati or any one of the thousands of children in orphanages that don’t have homes; that are going to grow up alone without a family? Why not adopt a child from here- out of the foster system? All of these are needed and necessary ways of adopting- every adoption is hard, it is not for those who would like it easy. A friend of mine sent out a message to several friends who had all adopted recently asking about the agency they used and what were their thoughts. It was amazing to me that every single answer revealed a different adoption agency as well as a different path. There are so many ways to adopt it is amazing. One friend who used one agency at first was using a different agency the second time. I digress.
In short, we chose embryo adoption because we can do something that not everyone who wants to adopt can. I have “working parts” and we have the ability to adopt in this way- a way that not everyone can. I asked Paul one time “This isn’t like real adoption; it isn’t like there is a child in an orphanage that needs a home”. Embryo adoptions are technically “tissue transfers” similar to an eye lens, kidney donation, or any other organ transplant. These children do not have rights in the eyes of the law- they are just tissue. As I wrestled with this a year or so ago and discussed it with Paul. Ever the fluent one he stated “Are you telling me that a child frozen in liquid nitrogen is not a life without a home?” “I would argue that this is a child in need of a home just as much as any other child that is currently in a mother’s belly or in an orphanage.” I don’t know, I am not sure I would go that far but I am still trying to work it out but I do know that I can carry and give birth to a child when not everyone is given this gift, why wouldn’t God call us to adopt this way? We are somewhat unusual in the embryo community because we have children (I don’t know any statistics for that). I have conceived, carried and given birth to my children with only one miscarriage. Frequently embryo adoption is a means for a family who has not been able to conceive their own children to allow them to experience the joy of pregnancy and birth of their own adopted child. Why does embryo adoption appear to be restricted to those who have not been able to obtain pregnancy by traditional means? It shouldn’t! I challenge that the life in that freezer is just as much a life as any other orphan. There is one difference- in this case technology has created this life. No one in the third world is performing In Vetro Fertilization, this is largely a created problem. Lives are created that are then stored and frozen until they are either used for research or transferred to a mother. I can’t imagine any family that has been through IVF and struggled to create life only to later say “Oh, we were just kidding- they really aren’t children, they were just groups of cells”. Every mother that has undergone IVF and has had a child or children as a result knows that this is indeed a child not an nondescript group of cells.
So the second reason we chose adopt embryos is because we have working parts and that in itself is a gift from God.