Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
I'll admit that I had to read this headline twice (or three times) because I thought it had to be a twisted joke. Sadly, it's not. Ready for it?
"Couples are turning extra IVF embryos into jewelry."
A website unironically named KidSpot says "Couples are Turning Extra IVF Embryos into Jewelry."
After a six-year IVF journey to receive miracles Lachlan, 4, and 21-month-old twins Charlotte and William, Belinda and Shaun Stafford didn’t know what to do with their remaining embryos. Their babies. Donation wasn’t an option, the annual storage fee was an added financial strain, and disposing of them unimaginable.
So when the NSW couple heard about Baby Bee Hummingbirds, an Australian company turning embryos into keepsake jewelley, they jumped at the chance. Now Ms Stafford has all of her babies with her every day – including seven embryos in her heart-shaped pendant worn close to her heart, always.
The mom said the financial strain would be too much to keep the embryos alive in perpetuity so the couple considered planting the embryos in a garden. But she said they move too much and she couldn't bear to leave them behind. Hence, the necklace.
In quotes that sound like a commercial for jewelry made from embryos, the mother said:
“My embryos were my babies - frozen in time.
“When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them.
“Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”
Amy McGlade, founder of Baby Bee Hummingbird, said that while they make thousands of keepsakes that include breast milk over placenta, they've made over 50 pieces of jewelry made of embryos in the past few years. “I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewellery from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world,” she said.
Did she just say "sacred art?" Make. It. Stop. The more I read the more horrified I became. But wait, it gets worse. According to the group's Facebook page, they're running a sale!
The families we craft for are truly aware of the various world wide options for Embryos in storage. They are informed, educated & loving people who have made an educated decision. • • • • • • We are absolute experts & true original leaders in Embryo Ashes • DNA Jewellery. This is an exclusive concept unique Baby Bee Hummingbirds. We are working with a number of local & international fertility clinics to raise awareness of this option for families.
The next step in to create educational tools & information packs suitable reflective of this exclusive art. We are therefore offering 15% off all Embryo Ashes Jewellery. We hope this will make the process more affordable & easier on families. It is our wish that we can have these pieces professionally photographed & used for our resources.
EMBRYO15 This is the code. It only applies to pieces crafted with Embryos & will help raise much needed awareness.
Here's a rule of thumb. Any time someone talks about "extra" humans, take a step back. (Yes Bill Nye, you too.)
When I consider where we are as a culture and how confused we are, in the end it really is so simple. Do we believe God created each and every human being? Do we believe life is sacred? Not just important. Sacred. Priceless. (And fyi, priceless means you can't run a sale on it.)
I understand the sorrow of failed pregnancies. The pain of the family featured in that article is real. I have held in my hands my own stillborn child. My heart breaks for those with failed pregnancies or those unable to have children.
I know of a family that after several failed pregnancies opted for IVF and they now have a wonderful baby girl whom they adore. But now the mother is unable to carry children due to complications and they have these "extra" embryos frozen. They don't know what to do about them. Unfreeze them? Let them die? Keep them frozen? Heartbreaking decisions. I'm sure those who contact the company selling embryo necklaces are truly seeking solace. But healing comes from Christ, not a keepsake.
There are no good solutions in cases like these for what to do with frozen embryos. Even when one of those solutions is on sale.