What Do a Human Embryo and a Horse Have In Common?

One of my favorite movies is “Seabiscuit,” a film whose heavy underdog theme centers on the potential of a life. Every time I watch the film, one specific quote sticks out to me, “You don’t throw away a life just because it’s a little banged up.” The quote not only refers to the title character, a race horse, but also the people around him who were all underdogs in life. While “Seabiscuit” takes place in the world of horse racing, its theme rings true in many other arenas of life including Embryo Donation and Adoption.
Embryo Adoption is a relatively new form of adoption where a couple who has completed their family building and can donate any remaining embryos to an adoptive family. The adoptive family transfers the donated embryos into the mother’s womb. The end result, if all goes according to plan, is the adoptive mother giving birth to her adopted child. Through Embryo Donation and Adoption Programs around the U.S., hundreds of children have been born who possibly would have remained in frozen storage forever.
While many frozen embryos are deemed to be healthy by physicians, others have factors involved in their creation which provide challenges to finding an adoptive family. These factors may include genetic mothers who were older at the time of egg retrieval, health issues in the genetic parents’ family or the embryos’ siblings, or a positive infectious disease test result from the genetic parent(s).
Although these “special case embryos” may have certain challenges associated with them, they still can mature to be happy, healthy children for those parents willing to give them a chance. As “Seabiscuit” reminds us, you don’t just throw away a life because it might be a little banged up. This thought applies to already born as well as frozen and waiting embryos.
To learn more about embryo donation and adoption, please visit EmbryoAdoption.org to find FAQ’s, video testimonials and educational webinars. The webinar "Personal Stories: Snowflakes Beating the Odds" specifically focuses on some of those embryos, that despite being deemed a low quality, found the strength to grow into healthy children.
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