I admit it: I don't know a whole lot about programs that promote embryo donation and adoption, or how that whole process actually works. If you share my ignorance, and you've got some time and a little money, you can attend an upcoming conference to learn more. "Emerging Issues in Embryo Donation and Adoption" is a 3-day meeting sponsored (under a grant from HHS) by the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) this May in DC. The conference is sponsored by NEDC, adoption agency Bethany Christian Services , and the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine . Most of the speakers appear to be from religious organizations, clinics or individuals that perform the donation and adoption procedures (ie, infertility professionals), or "success stories"--parents who have successfully adopted. (Which, by the way, seems like an odd word choice ... unless, as seems to be the case for most of the people involved in this business, you see no difference between an embryo in a petri dish and an actual baby/child.)
At least a couple of interesting things come up for me here. One is, does the Federal government belong in this business? Even if it does, is it really more important to secure protection for frozen embryos than for for uninsured, already living, children? I'm also a little confused about the involvement of Catholic thinkers and organizations in this issue, since (at least according to the Vatican) IVF is morally wrong. Unless the embryo already exists, maybe, and would just be destroyed otherwise?
If you don't have the time or money to attend the conference, but still want to know more, the NEDC website is pretty comprehensive--as is the Federally sponsored website embryoconnection.org , which is also the source of the very cute baby pic above.