What Does Defunding the U.S. Embryo Donation Program Mean For You?


Embryo Donation

The Obama administration is threatening to remove funding to the Federal government’s only embryo donation and adoption program, fueling speculation that the president is fostering an anti-life platform.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is not seeking funding for the Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign in the 2013 fiscal year.

Embryo adoption allows couples — most of them infertile — to adopt embryos left over from IVF treatments. The biological parents must offer consent for their embryos to be used.

Without adoption, an estimated 625,000 embryos in frozen storage will be discarded or donated for lethal research.

HHS seeks to end funding because “of the limited interest in the program as evidenced by grants being awarded to a very small pool of applicants, many of whom are repeat recipients.”

Ron Stoddart, executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, pointed to the continued increases in embryo donation and adoption programs. From 2004 to 2009, about 1,900 children were born in the United States from embryo adoption.

The National Embryo Donation Center, which is located in Knoxville, Tenn., says that it has 150 sets of stored, frozen embryos awaiting adoption. Each set contains as many as 15 embryos.

The Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign began under President George W. Bush with nearly $1 million in funding in 2002. The money peaked at $4.2 million in both 2009 and 2010, but only about $2 million was approved in 2011 and 2012.

Many pro-life advocates are asking why the Obama administration cut annual funding for adoption awareness, but not Planned Parenthood, the country’s leading abortion provider, who they claim received $487.4 million in funding in 2009-10.

The fate of the embryo donation and adoption program rests with Congress.

Posted in: Legal

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