(I’m both away for the Labor Day weekend and under the weather, so this will be short.)
Last year I followed the progress of legislation in Georgia around some aspects of assisted reproduction. (This is the end of the line, but the link there can take you to earlier posts.) What began, at least ostensibly, as a legislative response to the birth of octuplets to Nadya Suleman ended with a law the promotes what is called “embryo adoption.”
The idea here is that there are said to be many embryos left over from IVF attempts that are essentially in storage. Unlike sperm and eggs, embryos are not typically bought/sold. This means that the extra embryos sit there until they are either disposed of or given away so that another woman or couple can use them. I imagine (and I’ll assume here) that most of them either remain in storage or are disposed of.
This obviously trouble some people, including most notably those who believe that life begins at conception. So they’d like to encourage the embryos to be given away for other couples to use. And that’s the point of the Georgia law.
It’s worth thinking about whether the underlying idea is a good one. Perhaps it is. But whether it is “adoption” is another question. “Adoption” necessarily implies “child” and I think that means you come down on the “life begins at conception” side of the line.
For exactly those reasons the Georgia legislature called it adoption. But as my posts make clear, it isn’t really adoption. I came across this quite interesting blog entry today and since it nicely ties into this discussion I wanted to call it to your attention.
There is an adoption tax credit available to those who adopt. This is done precisely to encourage adoption. So does a Georgia embryo adoption qualify for that credit? The blog post and the paper referenced argue “no.” Worth a look.