Hundreds of thousands of babies created through in vitro fertilization are waiting for a chance to live.
As pro-life advocates gather in Washington, D.C., this week to give a voice to the unborn on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, one large group of unborn children may be forgotten in the fight: the hundreds of thousands of embryos currently frozen at fertility clinics across the country, at least some of whom belong to Christian, pro-life families.
It’s not uncommon for me to meet Christian, pro-life mothers who admit they currently have embryos waiting in the freezer that they don’t know what to do with. My friends Josh and Angie faced a similar dilemma. After suffering through years of infertility, they decided to pursue in vitro fertilization in 2008 and ended up with many more embryos than they wanted to give birth to and raise.
When they realized how many little lives were at stake, they peppered God with questions: “Haven’t we already gone through enough? What do we do now?” Could they have avoided the situation by having their doctor fertilize fewer embryos? Surely. But they knew that life, no matter how it begins, isn’t an accident, and that God doesn’t make “extras.”
A few years later, I gave birth to my first child and my husband and I discovered that we are carriers for a terrible genetic disorder. We knew we wanted to expand our family and turned to embryo adoption as a possible option. When we told our pastor about our adoption hopes, he introduced us to Josh and Angie, his childhood friend. We talked by phone and online, and after much prayer, Josh and Angie agreed to let us adopt their genetic children.
I got pregnant on the first try, but quickly lost the baby. Angie walked through the valley with us time and time again, as we hoped, prayed, tried, got pregnant, and felt God’s nearness alongside the gut-wrenching blows of loss. A week or so after our fifth try, we finally met Josh and Angie face-to-face. They prayed over us, and about eight months later, I gave birth to Jake Allen and Luke Andrew Williams—two healthy baby boys who look a lot like Josh and Angie.
Four months later, our two families met together, sharing hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade ice cream, and baby kisses. We talked as friends while our older kids splashed in my in-laws’ backyard pool. At that moment, there was no denying that God meant it all—the infertility, the terrible genetic disorder, the waiting, the losses, the hurts, and the questions—for good.
It pains me to think how many people forfeit God’s good plans, how many Jakes and Lukes never get a chance to fully live, because their parents keep them frozen indefinitely or choose to “discard” them, donate them to science, or put them into a piece of jewelry.
On the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision sentencing so many unborn babies to death, let’s celebrate those parents who choose life—even if it means life with another family. And let’s pray for those parents (and babies) still frozen in the decision-making process.
— by Whitney Williams