A story in the Australian mothers’ website Kidspot portrays the process as a solution to “extra” embryos that are created in the in-vitro fertilization process. It recounts the story of a couple who had conceived three children, including twins, but faced financial strain in paying for the annual storage of the leftover embryos and could not imagine disposing of them or donating them.
“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,” Amy McGlade, the founder of Baby Bee Hummingbirds, told Kidspot.
Families send the jeweler IVF straws containing the embryos, which are cremated into embryo ash, which is then incorporated into the jewelry.
Since 2014, Baby Bee Hummingbirds has made 50 pieces of jewelry with embryos. About 4,000 of its other works of jewelry use breastmilk, placenta, hair, ashes, or umbilical cord stumps.
The pieces cost from $80 to $600.
“It’s special because the embryos are often signifying the end of a journey, and we are providing a beautiful and meaningful way to gently close the door,” McGlade said.
For Lahl, however, the process is no solution to frozen embryos.
“The solution is to stop creating surplus embryos. The solution is to stop freezing human embryos, so that parents aren’t left with these ethical dilemmas of what to do with them when they decide they don’t want any more children,” she said.
“If anything it creates even more complex ethical problems, a new novel way of disrespecting human life.”
Lahl objected that “creating life and calling it surplus” is “an undignified view of early, nascent human life.” She worried that IVF treatment and the creation of human embryos is the consequence of the belief that parents have “a right to pursue that child at whatever cost, and at whatever manner.”
“It loses sight of the fact that children are intended to be gifts and blessings, not something we have a right to.”
McGlade, the jewelry business founder, promoted the use of embryos in jewelry.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
“Reactions from families who understand the journey are amazing and heartfelt. They are so grateful for our service,” she said. “What a better way to celebrate your most treasured gift, your child, than through jewelry? It’s about the everlasting tangible keepsake of a loved one that you can have forever.”
Kidspot cited one mother who had her embryos turned into jewelry through the business.
“I’d heard others had planted them in the garden but we move a lot, so I couldn’t do this,” said the mother, who had the seven embryos placed in a heart-shaped pendant. “I needed them with me.”
She said the six years of IVF treatment was “painful, tormenting, a strain on our marriage and just plain hard.”
“Finding this has brought me so much comfort and joy,” she said. “I finally at peace and my journey complete.”
“My embryos were my babies – frozen in time,” she said. “When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them. Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”