Couples who struggle to conceive a child are sometimes given the option of using a donated embryo. In the US this is commonly referred to as “embryo adoption”, particularly at Christian clinics, where it is regarded as saving a life – and where the future parents may have to be married and heterosexual to be eligible for treatment.
When Jennifer and Aaron Wilson found they could not get pregnant, they knew exactly what they wanted to do.
The couple from North Carolina had the choice of starting in vitro fertilisation (IVF), in which mature eggs are fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. Or they could have tried to adopt a child already in need of a home.
Instead they applied to a specialist Christian fertility clinic in Knoxville, Tennessee – the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) – which promised to help them “adopt” an embryo.