Embryo donation is a substitute to pregnancy. It helps a woman, who is unable to conceive, to give birth to a child. The process of embryo donation is to make use of another embryo to get conceived. Embryo donation gives opportunities to tackle the problem of infertility. This paper deals with various issues relating to embryo donation, such as, legal, medical, practical and ethical.
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An Overview of Issues Relating To the Embryo Donation and Adoption
“Embryo adoption is the adoption of cryogenically frozen embryos from biological or donor parents to selected, approved adoptive birth parent/s.” (Bernard, n.d., p.6).
Introduction to the Embryo Donation and Adoption
What is embryo donation and adoption; various stages in the development of the embryo donation and adoption; types of embryo donation: known and anonymous; initial medical procedures; preparation for receiving embryo; possible risks; food and drug regulation; emotional changes; matching process; parentage; embryo transfer; “posthumous conception”; in vitro fertilization; embryo creation. (Snyder, 2009).
Emerging trends in embryo transplantation; advanced technology and methods; advantages and drawbacks; factors responsible for embryo adoption; responsible factors for child growth and development; precautionary methods; practicability; characteristics of donors and recipients; health insurance and governmental regulation.
Application; “Donor Parent/s Letter”; Profile and photos of family, home, college days etc; “Letter of Understanding of process”; “Physician’s letter”; Criminal History and affidavit of criminal history; “Sample embryo agreement and relinquishment”; “Proof of income (pay stub/current income tax/employer letter)”; Documents like Home owners insurance; Life insurance; Health insurance; “Release of information”; “Protocol awareness letter”; Sex offender clearance certificate; “Counseling Awareness Letter”; Quality Survey documents, counseling and meditation awareness, “4 reference letters (non relatives)”; Sample embryos alive match contract; “Will notarized”; “Ownership and parental rights”; Definition of important terms like embryos, adoption and medical terminologies etc. (Bernard, n.d., p.4-5).
“The existence of a balanced chromosomal Structural abnormality, a low level of autosomal mosaicism in at least one biological parent, as well as a Y chromosome microdeletion should be a reason for removing an embryo from the donation process.” (Eydoux, & et al, 2004, Genetic risks excluding embryos from donation, para.2).
Advanced age of the donor; proper medical screening for the embryo donors; medical evaluation of embryos and recipients; procedures in transferring of embryos; medical considerations for donors; informed consent; qualification of medical professionals; uncomfortable situation of the medical professionals; genetic medical problems with the embryo donors and their genetic children; low rate of success per transfer; storage and transportation of embryos; medical information and requirements; “psychological, social and emotional” impact on adopting couples; infertility; abortion; food pattern of adopted mother; medical consequences on the recipient. (Sweet, 2004, what are psychological affects of the embryo donation process, para.1). “”Best practices” guide for medical and mental health professionals, social workers, attorneys and others who provide professional services surrounding embryo donation.” (Martin, 2005, ‘Best practices’ guide, para.1).
Regulation of Embryo Production
Religion versus practice; possibility of excess production of embryos; making human beings a commodity; doing experiments on children; no genetic relations with the children and the parents; acceptability of embryo production and adoption; physical state of the embryos; in between death and life; a conflict between technology and nature.
Adoption Process: Attitudes of the couples; helpful to the couples with fertility and genetic disorders; helping hand to old women who lost the capability for reproduction; motherhood; divorce. “Bioethicists claim that even calling the practice embryo adoption instead of donation implies that embryos are children.” (Brakman, 2005, para.4). Differences between child adoption and embryo adoption – ethics and financial aspects; need for providing counseling to the couples.
Legal approval and permissible measures for adoption and donation of embryos; legal procedures; legal issues relating to embryo donation and adoption; registration of the clinics; disconcerted nature of laws of embryo adoption; adoption law and existing gaps; need of new legislations; open and closed adoption; embryos and human rights; legal status of embryos; parental rights on child; the right of the child to properties; definition of embryos changes the legal procedures of adoption; legal conflicts on parenthood; commercialization of embryos; setting up of regulatory bodies for regulating the fee for adoption and prevention of abuse of embryos and need of legislations; roles of agencies in Embryo Adoption Process; “Adopted embryo protocols”; domestic and international laws relating to adoption; social and financial aspects of adoption; laws relating to family; sperm donor contracts; contract issues; legal definition of infertility; laws relating to cohabitation. (Frequently asked questions: Donating parents, 2009).
The absence of a genetic relation; parents’ anxiety about the future of the child; problems created by the siblings; psychological and emotional problems of the child; issues relating to religion; absence of proper laws; risk of genetic disorders; importance of homework; agency selection; choosing a reproductive endocrinologist; financial burden; health of the adopting mother; criminal background; counseling; embryo freezing and quality; emotional and psychological stress; donating parents; social security and posthumous children.
Embryo donation and adoption are two important humanitarian concepts. This syllabus helps to formulate an overall knowledge relating to these concepts and the various issues like ethical, medical, legal and practical, with regard to the embryo donation and adoption.
Bernard, B J. (n.d.). Embryo adoption forms packet: Letter of understanding of process. Embryos Alive. 6.
Bernard, B J. (n.d.). Embryo adoption informational packet. 4-5.
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Brakman, S V. (2005). Feature: Embryo adoption. Lahey Clinic Medical Ethics Journal. Lahey Clinic. Web.
Eydoux, P., & et al. (2004). How can the genetic risks of embryo donation be minimized: Genetic risks excluding embryos from donation. Human Reproduction, 19(8), 1685-1688. Oxford Journals. Web.
Frequently asked questions: Donating parents: Medical. (2009). Embryo Adoption Awareness Center. Web.
Martin, J C. (2005). Patient group to draw up guidance on embryo donation: ‘Best practices’ guide. Fertility Neighborhood: A Service of Freedom Fertility Pharmacy. Web.
Snyder, S H. (2009). Syllabus: Assisted reproductive technology and the law. Web.
Sweet, C R. (2004). Embryo recipients: Information for potential embryo recipients. Dream A Baby. Web.