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    Beyond ProLife: Save a Snowflake

    February 13, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Recently, I wrote a posting entitled Beyond ProLife, where I explained my desire to develop a more comprehensive vision of what a culture that values the sanctity of life really looks like. Today, I decided that, rather than wait around until I’ve figured it all out, I will try and put pieces together as I go along.

    Snowflake Adoption is one of the pieces. And first one must understand what a snowflake actually is.

    Essentially, a snowflake is an unwanted embryo, along the same lines as an unwanted baby. As IVF {in vitro fertilization} becomes more popular in our country, an interesting side-effect has occurred. It seems that, even in the realm of fertility treatment, where one would expect patients to be decidedly pro-life, children are viewed as a choice {see the Birth Control as an Idea postings}.

    A couple going through IVF may have any number of embryos fertilized during the process. I will say they have eight, for the sake of discussion. Now, the average family has 2.07 kids in the US. If an IVF couple decides that their family is complete after creating an average family, there are approximately 6 leftover embryos {unborn babies}.

    Now, the abortion advocates, in order to be consistent in their thinking, tend to believe these embryos should be destroyed {murdered}. The health research special interest groups would love to get their hands on these babies in order to experiment on them (there’s that murder idea again) and try to save the lives of very important actors like Michael J. Fox.

    Now, there is a third option. And this option is just as pro-life as protesting abortion, if not moreso, because it not only values the life of the unborn, but it actually gives them the chance to live.

    Si and I first became familiar with this concept in 2003 when he discovered an agency down the street from his workplace that pioneered the concept of snowflake adoptions. For more specific information on adopting a snowflake, here is a FAQ sheet. I’ll give the answers to two major questions now: the overall live birth success rate is 37% {including thawing}, and the total cost to a family living outside Southern California is $6800-$10000.

    Now, one can also go through a process known as embryo donation, which is a bit different. First of all, it differs legally because fertility clinics consider the embryos to be property that, when undesired by the current owners, may be legally transferred to new owners. This is the only legal form of human trafficking in the US. Snowflake adoption, on the other hand, is just what it sounds like–a true adoption which considers the embryo to be a child and is governed by adoption laws rather than property laws.

    There are a number of benefits to adoption vs. donation, perhaps the most important being that adoption affirms that the baby is just that–a baby. Also, donated embryos are often given to couples who have been diagnosed with double infertility, a process that can even mean prior IVF failure(s). But anyone can adopt, even those who have their own children already. In other words, snowflake adoption is more readily available to the average couple who simply wants to rescue an unwanted child.

    I have hinted before that there are better uses of one’s “extra” cash than to waste it on trinkets. It is my opinion that, in light of God’s view that true religion is to care for widows and orphans {James 1:27}, a superior use of one’s savings is nothing less than a life-giving act like snowflake adoptions.

    There are many life-giving acts, and snowflake adoption is only one. It is not for everyone; it is not for me {with my past pregnancy-related hormone problems}. But it is important that some in the Church rescue these babies before they are destroyed, discarded, or experimented upon.

    I will leave off with this quote from the adoptive father of twin snowflake babies:

    Human embryos are not leftovers, an un-valuable cluster of cells. Human embryos are human and have value because of this. We must protect this value. These embryos were human at the moment of conception, containing all genetic material that self-corrected their development. Embryos were human when they divided to the two-, four- and eight- cell stage. These embryos were human when they were frozen in liquid nitrogen for six years. These embryos were human when they were thawed and transferred to their mother’s womb. These embryos were human when they became blastocysts and were implanted in the uterus. These embryos were human as they continued to develop over six, 12, 24 and 36 weeks. And these babies were human when they were born. These embryos and developed babies are now 11 months old and are named Caleb Joshua Mason and Jordan Michael Mason, the joy of this father’s life.

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    2 Comments

  • Reply Mrs. Darling February 14, 2006 at 4:01 am

    Oops I need to make one thing clear. My frozen baby was made from my husband and myself. He is not an adopted snowflake.

  • Reply Mrs. Darling February 14, 2006 at 3:59 am

    I have a snowflake baby too. My son Peter was frozen for five years in a vial in nitrogen. He was frozen with 5 other embryos of mine. He’s the only that made it through the thaw and into my womb! I call him my Popcycle baby.

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