Embryo adoption celebration unites families
BOTHELL, Wash. - A unique reunion on Sunday brought together families who have adopted once-frozen embryos. The embryos were leftover from in-vitro fertilizations, now adopted and born into families. Melanie and Brian, along with their son Julian, are the guests of honor.
Melanie and Brian (whose last name is not disclosed) wanted a baby more than anything. But they were devastated, they couldn't conceive on their own. Now, baby Julian is their dream come true.
"All we want is to fill our house with laughter and love and be a family. We didn't mind where the baby came from," said Melanie.
Julian came from a freezer tank in a medical facility.
"Julian was in the freezer for about four years here in Seattle," said Melanie.
Julian was stored as a frozen embryo, leftover from a different couple's in vitro fertilization. The process can create extra embryos, which are often frozen indefinitely. Melanie and Brian adopted one of those embryos and it was implanted. Julian is the first baby born from Embryo Adoption Services of Cedar Park, an agency which teams up with Cedar Park Church in Bothell.
"We're still the only church in the world that does this," said Pastor Joe Fuiten.
On Sunday, Melanie and Brian spoke to the Cedar Park Church congregation, as they celebrated "Embryo Adoption Sunday."
"It allows me the experience of being pregnant and giving birth, and there's such a long wait for infants, and we were thrilled with the option of experiencing pregnancy even though its a baby that isn't genetically ours," said Melanie.
Other "freezer babies," as they're called, joined baby Julian's party after the services. Other expecting parents who've adopted embryos were also there. Baby Julian gives other infertile couples hope of happy endings.
It seems clear that the purpose of these "reunions" are to make the couples doing this normalize their choices. I would be curious if they continue to do this as their kids mature...not unlike international adopters who create a world filled with other families who adopted from the same country they chose to.
"I can't imagine loving any baby more than I love this baby. In my mind, its not like he's adopted or anything. We adore him. We love him more than life itself," said Melanie.