Georgia State House Passes Embryo Adoption Bill to Protect Unborn Children

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 13, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia State House Passes Embryo Adoption Bill to Protect Unborn Children

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 13
, 2009

Atlanta, GA ( — The Georgia state House, on Thursday, passed what some are considering one of the nation’s first embryo adoption bill. The chamber approved HB 388, the Option of Adoption Act by a vote of 96- 66 to help offer protection for unique human beings who are stored in fertility clinics.

This bill allows for embryos that are currently in cryopreservation to have the legal right to adoption as human beings in accordance with Georgia child adoption laws.

This bill also ensures that the adoption of human embryos will no longer be carried out as a form of contract or property law. HB 388 helps to clarify the rights of genetic and adoptive parents and promotes the best interest of the child.

Daniel Becker, the president of Georgia Right to Life, told, "This bill is monumental in that it establishes the adoption of embryos as children for adoption purposes."

"You donate property, but you adopt persons. We are excited that we are one step closer to establishing embryo adoption as law in Georgia," he continued.

Becker says that, with the creation of in vitro fertilization (IVF), 500,000 human embryos have been conceived and stored in laboratories across the United States.

He points out that four other states have recognized some form of embryo "donation," but none of them have a statute explicitly authorizing embryo "adoption." Should HB 388 receive approval from the Senate and be signed into law by pro-life Governor Sonny Perdue, Becker says Georgia will become the first state to explicitly, by state statute, authorize human embryos for adoption rather than for donation.

Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel of Americans United for Life, has also supported the bill.

"This bill is very timely given the need to humanize the embryonic human at a time when at the federal level embryonic stem cell research is being promoted," he says. "This bill helps to provide a counterweight and is great news for Georgia."

The legislature is considering another bioethics bill that has pro-life support.

A Georgia Senate committee has approved legislation that would limit the use of in vitro fertilization and embryo research. With concerns that the use of the medical technology is going overboard, pro-life groups are promoting the bill, the Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed the bill on a 7-6 vote and the Rule Committee signed off on the measure. Now it heads to the full Senate for a debate and vote.

Becker says the bill allows for the advancement of scientific research, while also addressing the important ethical questions about biotechnology.

He says the bill does not prevent continuation of research that is already being done on existing stem cell lines and supports adult stem cell, research and studies using induced pluripotent stem cells.

At the same time, it limits the creation of new embryos in Georgia for destructive, scientific purposes such as embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, human-animal hybrids, and gestating in artificial wombs.

Related web sites:
Georgia Right to Life –

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