Orphans in the Brave New World

ryan.jpgThe Washington Post reports on a Texas based company that produces batches of ready-made human embryos to sell to interested buyers. The story says that single women, infertile couples, gay men, and lesbians will have the opportunity to take advantage of this service in order to have children of their own.

Prospective buyers select the embryos after reviewing the race, education, appearance, personality, and other characteristics of the egg and sperm donors. The company producing the embryos only accepts egg donors who are in their 20’s and who have at least some college education, and they only accept sperm donors who have some kind of advanced degree like a Ph.D. or a law degree.

Even the Washington Post recognizes that the commodification of pre-born humans raises “ethical questions,” but Christians ought to have a special concern about the cavalier attitude toward human life that is expressed in this article. Not only is child-bearing and child-rearing totally severed from the ideal of the nuclear family, but embryos that are produced are not guaranteed ever to get adopted. Some of them will remain frozen or in storage indefinitely unless someone decides to buy them and implant them. Otherwise they will be destroyed, like the thousands of other embryos already in storage at fertility clinics around the country.

The creation of “spare” human embryos is already an affront to the image of God inherent in every person (Genesis 1:27; 9:6), even pre-born persons (Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 44:24). But the commodification of a practice that has resulted in the proliferation of little embryo orphanages only magnifies the tragedy.

The brave new world that we’ve created for ourselves is a place where people routinely ignore the humanity of its weakest members. May God awaken us to see things for what they really are.

Story: “‘Embryo Bank’ Stirs Ethics Fears” – Washington Post

4 Responses to Orphans in the Brave New World

  1. Nicholas Cardot January 8, 2007 at 7:17 am #

    This is a dreadful attack on both the family and the ethcal questions about life itself. Oh my goodness…

  2. Kris Weinschenker January 8, 2007 at 2:57 pm #

    Actually, companies like this have been around for several years. Many Europeans have been coming to America to have ‘designer-made’ babies because such eugenics is not legal in Europe.

    I heard a report today that some medical research company has found a way of extracting stem cells from ambrionic(sp) fluid which doesn’t destroy any embroyos.

  3. dennyrburk January 8, 2007 at 3:36 pm #


    Yes, I read about that story too and almost blogged on it. Here’s a link to the WASHINGTON POST’S coverage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/07/AR2007010700674.html.



  1. » Orphans in the Brave New World (part 2) - January 13, 2007

    […] I wrote earlier this week about a woman in San Antonio named Jennalee Ryan who is selling designer embryos to interested buyers who want have children. In my earlier post I noted the ethical problems associated with her business. Today the Associate Press reports that Ryan is under investigation by the FDA. […]

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