I am a member of baby.center.com and there is an EA board on there. A woman posted on there looking for answers and opinions. She was a very kind woman that has a heart for others. She has 2 children of her own and has no fertility issues at all. She had easy pregnancies and wants more children. So why was she posting there? Because she wanted to help and thought that through EA should could. She and her dh originally wanted to adopt a child through domestic adoption but was shocked to learn that there are so many waiting couples and so few babies available. She had many unkind things said to her by friends and family members stating that she had no right to "take" a baby from a family that had no other way to have one. She was hurt by some of the comments, but saw what they were saying was true in regard to so many waiting families so she began to look elsewhere.
She then heard about the 400,000+ embryos that are currently frozen. She thought that this would be a great way to not only add to her family but a way to help as well. As she began to research she found that while there are many still frozen the majority of them are not available for adoption/donation. She asked if it was really true that couples have to wait for embryos and while we were all very kind we assured her that was a shortage of embryos at this time.
I have heard people use the statistics of how many waiting embryos there are and have asked couples to stand up and help these little snowflakes, give them a chance at life. While I agree with giving them a chance, I disagree with using these statistics so flippantly. A lot of people have a good heart and a desire to help and hearing about so many embryos that may be destroyed if they don't do something about it will prompt many to action. But being that there are not a lot of available embryos this could cause an even greater shortage to those that have no other options to complete their family.
While I would never tell someone that was easily able to have their own children to never adopt an infant or an embryo, I do hope that they do so only because this is how they honestly feel that they should complete their family. If they want to fill a need then maybe adopt an older child or a sibling group. This is the area where there is a great need. This is what I responded to the member on Baby center. I told her that I applauded her for wanting to do help, but that the truth is there are many more waiting couples than there are available embies. And that if this is something that she felt called to do then by all means proceed, but if it was to "help" that maybe another option would be a better choice for her and her family.
The whole idea of using these statistics bothers me as it is misleading. I would hate to see couples consider EA just to "save" the embryos. Maybe there will come a time that there are too many embryos available and too few couples. But until then I hope that fertile couples will not be encouraged to use the limited number that are available at this time just for the sake of helping them.
What are your thoughts on this?