Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Some day soon we will transfer ownership of our three spare embryos to a lesbian couple. Based on our clinic's published rates of success with frozen embryo transfer, the chances are excellent that a baby, or possibly two, will result from our donation. Two loving parents will hopefully become a family, and their joy will be ours as well because we were able to give them this precious gift.

The funny thing is, I don't believe in embryo donation.

It is wrong to prioritize the "adoption" of fertilized eggs when millions of living, breathing, loving children languish in orphanages and foster care systems worldwide. Their needs are greater than a fertilized egg sitting in a freezer.

As a donor, I have had to weigh my belief that fertilized eggs have no right to life with a desire to help ameliorate discrimination. Gay and lesbian families are barred from adopting unless they lie.

If adoption agencies, genetic parents, family courts and law-makers in the US looked at a couple's suitability to raise a child without regard to whether the partners were gay or straight you would not be reading this blog. That's because I would not donate these embryos if lesbians had equal access to adoption, embryo donation or even basic fertility treatments like IUI when starting their families. My wife and I would simply donate the embryos to science.

If the "sacrifice" of our embryos led to a cure for multiple sclerosis my co-worker would no longer be confined to a wheelchair. My friend's diabetes might be cured. Would I deny a fertilized egg bearing my DNA the possibility of becoming a child? If it meant bringing science even one step closer to curing some dread disease I would do it in a heartbeat -- the heartbeat that fertilized egg is two months of gestation and lots of luck away from ever experiencing.

As it is, a lesbian couple somewhere, just this once, is going to benefit from reverse discrimination. My donation will prioritize gay parents over straight ones. This embryo donation to a lesbian couple will be my small contribution to leveling the playing field.

If you are a member of a heterosexual couple that wants donor embryos, I am sorry you have to experience discrimination based on the gender of your partner. If it feels like a rip-off I hope you will remember this feeling the next time an anti-gay ballot measure or politician comes up for a vote in your home town. It's a crummy thing for anyone to face discrimination based on the person they love. My donation will help one family compensate for a cruel, biased system. You have the power to help change that system.

My children need legal protection despite the fact that their parents are both women. Votes against gay people hurt our children. If you love children, help pass civil union or pro-marriage laws that allow gay couples to formalize their relationships. On behalf of my son and daughter, and the children of millions of other gay couples, thank you.