“Embryo Adoption” is a misleading term

Lab dishes

The ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine released a position paper in December stating that the term “embryo adoption” is misleading and inaccurate. The paper calls into question the practice that some private adoption agencies use whereby potential parents can take possession of donated embryos and use them with fertility treatments in the hope of becoming pregnant.

The agencies will often screen the potential parents as they would in the adoption process for children, utilizing the traditional adoption model which involves a legal process to establish parentage of infants or older children. They may require prospective parents to divulge information on their religious beliefs, marital status or sexual orientation. Since embryo donation is regulated similarly to any medical procedure that uses donated tissues or organs, this type of screening is deemed inappropriate. The two processes should not be confused and should be approached differently keeping in mind the uniquenesses of each.

“Embryo donation is an important therapeutic option for infertile patients,” Says Dr. Robert Brzyski, chairman of the ASRM Ethics Committee. “Home visits, judicial review and other adoption procedures are not necessary and not appropriate for a patient whose case entails what is most accurately characterized medically as a tissue donation.”

Source: Fertility & Sterility


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