Fertility Fact Friday – Embryo Adoption
Fertility Fact Friday
Recently a dear friend of mine sent me this article, Infertility Leads Couple to Embryo Adoption. It’s the story of this dear couple, Leslee and Mitchell and their journey of faith through embryo adoption. Perhaps you’ve never heard of embryo adoption or know much about it. I believe you’ll be encouraged and informed as you read their story.
If you’d like to know more about the organizations which support embryo adoption check our listings on the Resource Page.
Here’s their story from the Southern Baptist Texan…
LOVELADY, Texas—While most American families were planning for Thanksgiving, Mitchell and Leslee Kleckley had something else on their minds Nov. 26.
The couple was in a Houston hospital for the birth of their son, Drew. No doubt hundreds of other babies were born in the state that day, but perhaps none had such an extraordinary journey as did little Drew.
Unable to bear children, the couple turned to a relatively unknown procedure known as “embryo adoption” in an attempt to have a child. They were able to experience pregnancy—with all its ups and downs—even though the baby Leslee was carrying was genetically unrelated to her.
Yet when little Drew Kleckley was born prematurely at 6:39 p.m. on Nov. 26, he was completely and wholly their son. And while the couple initially declined to be public about their struggles, they said they decided to share their story “not because we want publicity or attention because we know this is not about us. It’s all about God and his glory.”
Wrestling with infertility
After two years of marriage, Mitchell, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lovelady, and his wife Leslee decided in July 2011 to start their family. Yet after nearly a year of trying and being unsuccessful, the couple consulted doctors, who determined that a medical issue left Mitchell unable to father a child. They sought an array of treatments for the matter; none of which helped.
“It seems like for the whole three years we struggled with infertility we felt like we were repeatedly being gut-punched as test results disappointed us again and again, but all of that was wiped away when I was able to hold my son for the first time,” Mitchell said.
While the couple is again on social media to tell others what God is doing in their lives, there was a time when Leslee went “off the grid,” even deleting the Facebook app from her phone. She said it seemed like every other day there was posted an ultrasound of someone’s unborn child or announcement that someone was expecting.
“I wanted so bad to be happy for these people, but I didn’t understand why that wasn’t happening to me. I realized these feelings could make me bitter, and I knew I had to get rid of this,” she said.
While the Kleckleys were not candidates for traditional non-donor in vitro fertilization, they began exploring alternatives. A friend who was familiar with their situation shared an article with them about “embryo adoption.”
Mitchell said initially the ethics of embryo donor programs gave him pause.
Yet as he explored it, it began to make sense to him given the couple’s confidence that life begins at conception and that these were “lives that were just frozen indefinitely.” He also learned there are between 400,000 and 500,000 living human embryos currently frozen in fertility clinics around the U.S.
The source of the frozen embryos is infertile couples who opt for in vitro fertilization and have leftover embryos–by design or not–once they’ve completed all their IVF cycles.
For these families, the choices can be difficult and morally problematic: allow the embryos to thaw, and they will die; leave them in an unending state of cryopreservation; give them to science for research, and they will be killed; or preferably, allow them to be donated to a couple willing for one or more of the embryos to be implanted in the woman’s uterus.
to read the rest of their story on Southern Baptist Texan click here.