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St. Louis-area family shares story as embryo adoption gains popularity

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:08 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - At their Wildwood home, the McCall family is preparing for the graduation of their oldest boys. Their children, ages 18, 17, 14 and 11, are all adopted.

“We feel we’re the most blessed parents in the world, we have four amazing kids,” said Victoria McCall.

But their youngest daughter Jewel was adopted as an embryo. The embryo was frozen for four years before the McCalls went through the process of adoption with the help of Snowflakes Embryo Adoption, part of Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

“People that are longing for a child, this is a really great option. As opposed to a traditional adoption it’s less expensive and the adoptive mom can experience pregnancy,” said McCall.

Victoria McCall gave birth to her adopted daughter.

The concept of snowflake adoptions is gaining popularity as more and more and more families turn to in vitro fertilization (IFV) to address infertility. The latest data shows two percent of all children in the US are born through IVF. Typically one round of IVF results in multiple embryos. Those embryos can be stored, donated to science, disposed of or donated to another family.

It’s estimated there are more than one million frozen embryos in the US. The McCalls believe life begins at conception and they would like to see more of these embryos adopted.

There are many that worry the potential overturning of Roe v Wade could impact the future of fertility treatments like IVF.

“I was only able to get pregnant through IVF which Roe lays the foundation for. Because of IVF, I got to experience all the joys of motherhood, because of reproductive rights we’re not just Tammy and Bryan, we’re mommy and daddy,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).

Senator Duckworth believes there could be major repercussions on IVF in states like Missouri where trigger laws would outlaw abortion in the majority of cases.

But Missouri State Rep. Nick Schroer, who sponsored HB 126, Missouri States for the Unborn Act, says there are many rumors about the impact of the trigger law.

“It is my opinion, shared by many legal experts in my party, that overturning Roe will have zero impact on IVF largely because of how this is defined in statute,” Schroer said.

The McCalls say their family is complete thanks to embryo adoption and while they don’t know the impact of what could happen with the Supreme Court ruling, they hope their story inspires others.

“It’s a tricky subject to talk about, if you look at these pictures of our kids we’re big proponents of adoptions. We feel like there are so many better alternatives,” said Joe McCall.

Their daughter Jewel is one of 900 children born since the Snowflakes Adoption Program began.