Embryo donation is not adoption, says reproductive medicine group
Dr Vivienne Raper
Progress Educational Trust07 December 2009
Calling embryo donation 'adoption' is 'inaccurate and misleading', according to a new report by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
In Defining Embryo Donation, the ASRM's ethics committee says that embryo donation is performed and regulated in the same manner as other medical procedures using donated cells, tissues, or organs. It should not be treated as a legal adoption of existing children, the report says. 'Embryo donation is an important therapeutic option for infertile patients. Home visits, judicial review and other adoption procedures are not necessary and not appropriate for a patient whose care entails what is most accurately characterized medically as a tissue donation,' explained Robert Brzyski, chair of the ASRM ethics committee.
Agencies like Nightlight Christian Adoptions in California offer the Snowflakes Frozen Embryo Adoption Program alongside adoptions of US and international children. Some private adoption agencies require prospective parents to divulge information on their religious beliefs or sexual orientation, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, according to the ASRM report, 'attempts to extend an adoption model to embryos places an inappropriate burden on patients seeking an embryo donation'.
The report is published in this month's Fertility and Sterility: The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, American Society for Reproductive Medicine: defining embryo donation, Fertility and Sterility, Vol.92, No. 6, December 2009.
Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.