Nightlight on the Dr. Phil Show

This past Friday, April 25th, Nightlight Christian Adoptions’ Executive Director Daniel Nehrbass was a guest on the Dr. Phil Show, delivering some much needed good news to a couple caught up in the middle of a domestic adoption scam.

To learn more about how Nightlight’s Domestic, International, Foster and Embryo Adoption Programs can help you build your family please visit Nightlight.org.

Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program Reaches 1,000 Donor Family

1000“I just want to know the couple who adopts my baby is going to be great parents.” That’s what Sarah said to me on the phone a couple days ago. You would expect that is a typical request from anyone considering an adoption plan. Less typical, however, was her next statement, “My baby has been at the University of Chicago for two years.” Her baby isn’t sick, nor is he a prodigious student. He is an embryo in frozen storage.

Sarah is not a pro-life activist, nor an activist for anything as far as I can tell. She is just a mother who feels tremendous responsibility. She wasn’t using carefully worded rhetoric; she was just speaking from the heart about her intuitive sense that her embryo deserves an opportunity for life in a loving home. The reason she called Nightlight is that she had confidence the Snowflake® program would find a well-vetted family to raise the child who is genetically related to her.

We celebrate this week the 1,000th donor family to begin this process with Snowflakes. We recognize that those one thousand couples have been torn among a variety of difficult options: continued storage, donation to research, disposition, or donation. Donation is not an easy choice…the thought of someone else raising a child genetically related to you evokes discomfort and fear. It is only when weighed against the other options that donation becomes a little easier.

Because all of these choices are difficult, most couples stay “on the fence” for years with no plan for the embryos, so indefinite storage becomes the implicit choice. What helps our donor couples finally get off the fence is our strong social work model, based on our 54-years as an adoption agency. Our donors have confidence that every Snowflake family will complete a quality home study, social workers will conduct the matching process, and the adoptive and donor couples will have an “open” relationship in the future. To every one of our thousand donor couples, I thank you for making this difficult, yet life-honoring decision.

–Daniel Nehrbass, Executive Director

We are very excited about receiving our 1,000th donor family. This represents nearly 5,000 embryos that have come through our program. That is a lot of embryos that have been given a chance at life.

–Kelly Poffenberger, Snowflakes Program Director

New Embryo Adoption Study

survey 2Nightlight Christian Adoptions’ Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program is supporting Dr. Erick Blyth, from the University of Huddersfield, England and Dr. Lusy Frith from the University of Liverpool, England, in an online survey to investigate the nature and frequency of contact between families who have built their family by means of embryo adoption and the couples who provided the embryo(s).
If you either provided or received embryos via the Snowflakes Program AND

  • At least one child has been born as a result AND
  • You are in contact with your provider or recipient couple AND
  • You are interested in taking part in this study, please follow either of the following links-

For Embryo Providers- http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/hud/embryoproviders
For Embryo Providers- http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/hud/embryorecipients

This survey will be available until Saturday, August 31, 2013.

Our journey to embryo adoption

The following was written by Heather Hanna, a Nightlight adoptive mother.

We are a full time ministry family blessed with six children (three teens born to us and three younger children born in our hearts from South Korea). The beautiful picture in Scripture of God adopting us into His family has been made more precious since our adoption journeys began in 2005. God moved in our hearts to consider South Korea and then moved us out of comfort zone into special needs adoption from that country; suddenly, we found ourselves going from a family with three kids to six in just 2 ½ years. We made very little money at the time, but God in His amazing heart for orphans always answered and took care of our every need through three different back-to-back adoptions. It’s been almost four years since our youngest came home from Korea and all of this time we prayed that God would open more doors for us to adopt again. Our family size as well as restrictions in our new state seemed to make adoption closed to us and our hearts ached as we waited for God to move.

We’ve known about Nightlight for many years and have known many families who have used them for their agency. What we were about to find out was that Nightlight was more than an agency, it was a family of believers who would pray for you, cheer for you and rejoice when God answered your prayers. In March of this year, we received an email about special case embryos from Nightlight. I have to admit I don’t always open these emails for fear my heart will be torn when God wasn’t yet opening doors, but that day I read. When I began reading it surprised me to hear of genetic families who were open to older moms (I am currently 40) and many children being in a family already. The idea of special case embryos (at risk for a possible genetic issue) thrilled my heart in a way that can only be explained as God moving. What happened next was amazing too. I sent my husband a message through Instant Messenger, and we chatted back and forth. We agreed that we are pro-life and being pro-life means defending life from it’s very beginning, so surprisingly he agreed to have me call and ask questions (one way we know God is moving in our hearts is when we both agree on a direction He is taking us!). I first talked to someone from Nightlight and instantly felt at peace with their friendliness as well as their resourcefulness. The next days were a whirlwind of activity as God supernaturally opened up a homestudy agency in our state that would help us with regulations against large families and we found a clinic a few hours from our home that we felt was the right place. Still, we thought is this crazy? What will our church say? What will our families say? How can we know this is God moving? We prayed and a few days later we received an email from Nightlight telling us that a genetic family had come forward and their embryos were special case embryos and they were Korean-American. We couldn’t believe that a loving God would so care for us and our heart that He would give us a potential match that would fit beautifully with the family He had given us. Continue reading

Dear Abby Addresses a 21st Century Dilemma: What to do with remaining embryos

Abigail-van-BurenSince 1956 readers have been turning to the “Dear Abby” column for answers to life’s questions, concerns and more. Today [January 3, 2012] Abby addresses a concern facing 21st century readers: what should be done with frozen embryos remaining from in vitro fertilization treatments? Deadlocked in New Jersey and her husband are facing this difficult dilemma for two of their remaining embryos. Deadlocked and her husband successfully gave birth to twins via in vitro and then had a third child conceived naturally.

They believe their family is complete, yet morally, Deadlocked believes she should give the embryos ‘the chance [at life] they were meant to have.’
In the face of an economic hardship, Deadlocked’s husband is hesitant to pursue another frozen embryo transfer. This leaves Deadlocked unsure how to ‘do what I believe is right and stand by my religious and moral beliefs’ without causing her husband to resent her.

With more than 612,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S., many other families may be facing a similar struggle.

Abby suggests that Deadlocked may want to consider another option: embryo adoption. “Your embryos could be donated for embryo adoption by a couple who have been unable to conceive, and who would love to raise them.”

To read the Dear Abby Column visit Yahoo News. For more information on how to donate remaining embryos visit the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center.