What can we do about all the frozen embryos slated for destruction?

Avoid cryopreservation of embryos. First, we need to avoid the waste of more embryos by counseling couples pursuing assisted reproductive technologies to limit the number of eggs fertilized to the number they’re committed to carry to term. With in vitro fertilization procedures, each mature egg is placed in a separate dish. So in the case of abundant eggs, embryologists can limit the number of eggs exposed to sperm. Generally when couples request this, clinics honor their ethical desires.

Perfect the egg-freezing process so that gametes—sperm and eggs—are frozen instead of embryos. Currently freezing sperm is commonly done, but scientists are still working to improve the egg-freezing process.

Encourage embryo adoption. At the moment, such a service costs about $6,000. However, some Internet services charge less than $100 to connect couples and let them work out the details.”

—William Cutrer, M.D., and Sandra Glahn, “Of Ethics and Embryos,” Light, (Fall 2000), page 5