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Christian parents adopt frozen embryos left over from IVF treatment

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The Nightlight Christian Adoptions “Snowflakes Frozen Embryo Adoption” program is helping parents in adopting embryos that have been left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. The program has been gaining in popularity since the birth of the first baby adopted through the program in 2003.

“Snowflake children” are children who are born through the adoption of embryos left over from IVF. The child’s is not genetically related to the adopted parents as they were not the original cell or egg donors.

The process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) creates multiple embryos. From those created, doctors then select the healthiest to implant in the woman. The woman/couple undergoing IVF can then choose whether to discard the extras, have them re-inserted at a time when they are least likely to survive, or frozen in storage – which can cost a few hundred dollars per year.

The Christian adoption group estimates that there are over 600,000 frozen embryos currently within the United States. Evangelical Christians support the group and have begun to encourage people with frozen embryos in storage to make them available for adoption. In 2006 former President George W. Bush invited children who were adopted as embryos to join him at the White House, stating, “These boys and girls are not spare parts.”

The program allows couples to donate their remaining unused embryos for others to adopt and then give birth to their adopted child – the embryos that are adopted through the Snowflakes program were donated from families who originally created them for IVF treatment.

The Vatican and church officials do not prohibit embryo adoption, and over 300 babies have been born through the Snowflakes program to date.


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Antioxidants Increase Fertility in Older Men

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ivf treatmentA healthy diet has endless positive effects on the human body. New research suggestss older men can improve the quality of the DNA that they pass on to their kids by eating a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants.

Nutrition may not always be considered among infertility options, but studies have shown it can protect a person’s DNA from oxidative damage. Male test subjects who had higher levels of nutrients in their food, however, had no changes in their sperm quality, suggests the new study.

Researchers recruited 80 healthy male volunteers between the ages of 22 and 80 and found that men over 44 years of age who had higher levels of vitamin intake had lower levels of DNA damage in their sperm compared to men who were 44 or over and had low levels of vitamin intake.

Previous research shows that men over 35 have a high risk of fragmented DNA, chromosomal rearrangements and strand damage in the DNA of the sperm. Medical Daily had earlier reported that older men are more likely to pass on more gene mutation linked to autism and schizophrenia.

In the study, the participants were given questionnaires that asked them about their lifestyle. All the participants underwent sperm DNA quality assessment. The participants’ daily nutrient intake was classified as low, medium or high.

The results showed that nutrition could help men with low fertility, just the way IVF treatment can help women with low fertility. Researchers found that even the men who reported themselves as healthy didn’t get the recommended amount of nutrients from their diet.

A diet rich in antioxidants can help protect the sperm because antioxidants help in getting rid of the free radicals that damage the cells. Increasing levels of antioxidants in food can lower the amount of damage to the DNA.


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