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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 16, Issue 2, Summer 2016

Cara Buskmiller, MD
Pages 225-231

Cryopreserved Embryo Adoption
Not Now, Maybe Later

Cryopreservation and vitrification are techniques employed in fertility clinics to preserve embryos not used in in vitro fertilization cycles. These frozen embryos carry the dignity of persons, and it has been suggested that they could be unfrozen and adopted. Experts have offered divergent opinions on the legitimacy of this practice. This essay reviews the debate and offers a phenomenological description of embryo adoption considered in itself, as well as reflections on current circumstances which the author proposes make embryo adoption not only imprudent but illicit.