There are an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 embryos stored in the U.S. (2002), many of whom are no longer wanted.
Ethicists and theologians say couples need to keep in mind important facts:
The frozen embryos are not "fertilized eggs", but human beings at the earliest stage of life, and contain a full set of human chromosomes.
Second, the embryos are alive. Freezing them arrests their development, but does not kill them.
Third, human embryos do not have "potential life", but are lives with potential – they are already alive and would grow and be born if implanted in the womb.
Although controversial, embryo adoption is gaining support…because it is viewed as far more preferable than allowing embryos to die or remain frozen until they begin to degrade.
The child is implanted by adoptive parents as their own, allowing him or her the right to life as any other human being.
David Stevens, MD: "There is an organized effort underway to de-personify the embryo. That tactic was successful in the early days after Roe v. Wade but ultrasound technology changed that for second and third trimester fetuses.
"Headlines screamed this week that the Bush administration was saying (gasp!) that embryos are human beings! Abortion advocates were up in arms.
"If the homo sapien embryos are not human, then what species are they? If they are not beings (a living thing), into what category do they fall?
"If this campaign was not so tragic, it would be ridiculous. Have you ever heard a new mother say, 'I’m pregnant with a potential human being?'"
["Beginning of Life Ethics Statements"
"Medical Abortion is Not Just a Medical Issue", Today's Christian Doctor; Meckler, Laura. "Research Embryos Called 'Human'." AP, 30 Oct02; CMDA News & Views Vol-02 No-36, 7Nov02]