One enterprising company has found a new way to profit from couples’ fertility struggles: embryo jewelry. It is so outrageous that it almost sounds like a joke, but unfortunately, this is what our society has come to.
When couples undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), human eggs are fertilized in an incubator in a lab before one or two are selected to be implanted in the womb at around five to seven days of development to get a shot at life. The leftover embryos are typically frozen, and the couple must then decide whether to use them in the future, donate them or destroy them. Now they can add having them turned into jewelry to their list of options thanks to Australian company Baby Bee Hummingbirds.
The embryos are set in what are known as “embryo straws” and then cremated before being set into a durable resin to create the jewelry, which sells for anywhere from $80 up to $600. Buyers can opt to color their cremated embryos with “shimmer tints” or add glistening mica before the resin stone is set into the desired piece of jewelry.
A ring that preserves a kid’s first lost tooth or a necklace made with an umbilical cord stump is perhaps a bit nauseating to the more squeamish among us, but it’s not deeply disturbing on the same level as turning potential future human beings into glittery pieces of jewelry.
One client who purchased one of these macabre necklaces with the remains of her unborn children told Kidspot.com.au in an interview: “My embryos were my babies – frozen in time. When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them. Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”
It’s interesting that she said she didn’t have the heart to destroy them; what does she think happened to her “babies” – as she called them – when they were cremated before being set in resin? Wouldn’t it have been better to donate the embryos to an infertile couple, thereby giving her babies an actual chance at life?
The company’s founder, Amy McGlade, seems quite proud of her offering. She says her firm has made 4,000 pieces of jewelry from hair, ashes, placenta, cord stumps and breast milk and 50 out of embryos so far.
McGlade told Kidspot: “I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewelry from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world.”
How exactly is denying future children the chance to finish developing and living their life in the name of creating jewelry opening possibilities to families?
What happens to leftover embryos from IVF?
IVF is already commoditizing children, and the question of what to do with leftover embryos is just one of the many problems with this procedure. Storage can be quite expensive, and some couples simply stop paying the monthly storage fees to avoid making a decision, essentially leaving it up to the fertility clinic to decide what to do with their unborn children.
The main options available to couples include using them to have more babies, thawing and disposing of them, donating them to another family, or donating them to research. It is believed that there are more than a million leftover embryos in our country just waiting for a chance to be born… or incinerated and worn around someone’s neck.
Read more disturbing stories like this at Absurd.news.
Written by Isabelle Z.