Poll Shows Americans Support Frozen Embryo Adoption

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 22, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll Shows Americans Support Frozen Embryo Adoption

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 22, 2003

Somerville, MA (LifeNews.com) — According to a recent survey of Americans, a majority of the general public believes that donating excess frozen embryos to infertile couples is "a good thing," showing an acceptance of adopting unborn children as an alternative to experimenting on them or destroying them.

The poll was commissioned by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and conducted by Harris Interactive, as part of a Federal grant program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Some 63% of the respondents, ages 18-45, approved of donating some of the 400,000 embryos in storage in the U.S. to help infertile couples have a baby. The microscopic embryos are in storage as a result of infertility treatments. Only 18% of the RESOLVE members surveyed (19% of the total) who had embryos in storage said they would consider donating their embryos to another infertile couple.

In response to the poll’s results, RESOLVE has announced a new program called "Embryo Donation – a A Family Building Option" at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual conference. The goal of the program is to educate medical professionals, patients, and the general public about all aspects of embryo donation.

According to RESOLVE, 75% of the general public diagnosed with infertility said they did not receive enough information about embryo donation to make an informed decision.

"The goal of RESOLVE’s embryo donation program is to educate couples and professionals about embryo donation, and to allow consumers to make informed decisions about this family-building option," said Bonny Gilbert, RESOLVE’s Acting Executive Director.  "We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services for taking the initiative and supporting this important educational effort, aimed at helping women and men make informed, appropriate decisions for family building."

According to the survey, over one quarter of the general public (27%) would consider using donated frozen embryos themselves if they were unable to have a baby. And 34% of RESOLVE members diagnosed with infertility said they would consider using another couple’s excess embryos to achieve pregnancy.

The respondents also overwhelmingly believe that the decision of how to use excess frozen embryos must be theirs: 77% of the general public and 93% of RESOLVE members with a previous infertility diagnosis believe that the decision of what to do with frozen embryos should be the personal decision of the couple who created the embryos.

The RESOLVE/Harris Interactive online survey included a national cross-section of 1,034 general consumers, 231 adults diagnosed with infertility and 976 RESOLVE members, all between the ages of 18-45.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a consumer nonprofit organization that provides education, advocacy and support to those struggling with infertility.