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Baby, or your money back: (CA) fertility doctor mass produces, then sells embryos for $9,800
Life Site News ^ | November 21, 2012 | KIRSTEN ANDERSEN

Posted on 11/21/2012 3:26:18 PM PST by NYer

Dr. Ernest Zeringue

Davis, CA, November 21, 2012 ( – A doctor in Davis, California is promising a successful IVF pregnancy for just $9,800, with an unheard-of money-back guarantee.  The catch?  Patients will be implanted with someone else’s baby.

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is notoriously expensive.  A single round of IVF averages $12,400, with no guarantee of a pregnancy.  Women wishing to become pregnant using the method must often undergo the procedure repeatedly until they end up with a baby or run out of money, since insurance typically limits how much can be spent on the procedure.

Dr. Ernest Zeringue cuts costs by creating a large batch of embryos from one egg donor and one sperm donor, and implanting them in several patients. The clinic, not the customer, controls the embryos.  This way, he can make babies for three or four clients while paying only once for donors and laboratory work.

People who buy this option from Zeringue make compromises some find unsettling. They are genetically unrelated to their children, and the children will likely have biological siblings born to other parents.

Zeringue describes the process on the clinic’s website as similar to adoption, but more enjoyable, with fewer legal complications.

“Since the embryo donors have waived their parental rights to the embryos,” Zeringue writes, “the intended mother gets to carry and grow her child with no legal challenges or problems with parental rights after childbirth. Intended parents get to enjoy being pregnant, have their names placed on their baby’s birth certificate, and build a family without the complexities of adoption.”

Conservative bioethics writer Wesley Smith slammed Zeringue’s scheme. “What a world: Now, it doesn’t even matter who and where the babies come from,” he said. “The commoditization of human life continues. Regulate?  Not in our entitled age.”

“I am horrified by the thought of this,” Andrew Vorzimer, a Los Angeles fertility lawyer, told the Los Angeles Times. Echoing Smith’s criticism, Vorzimer added,  “It is nothing short of the commodification of children.”

Dr. Robert Klitzman, a bioethicist at Columbia University, agreed with Vorzimer.  He told the Times that Zeringue’s approach essentially amounted to creating embryos for sale.  “It gets kind of creepy,” Klitzman said. “There is a yuck factor. We need to proceed very carefully.”

Zeringue, however, dismisses ethical concerns about his methods.  Most of his customers have run out of money and patience by the time they come to his clinic, he said. “They’re kind of at the end of the line.”

Natosha Dukart, from Calgary, was one of them.  She and her husband, Brad, spent more than $100,000 on IVF without success. They maxed out their credit cards, flipped houses and moved four times to fund eight rounds of IVF.  Still, they had no baby.

Then Natosha found Zeringue’s clinic, California Conceptions.  The money-back guarantee proved impossible to resist.

With no financial risk, Natosha told the Times, “It was an easy choice.”

She sent their photographs to Zeringue and applied for a Caucasian baby. Two months later, they received a profile of an embryo the clinic had frozen in storage. Both donors had brown eyes and healthy family histories.

The Dukarts liked the description. So last February, they traveled to California to undergo their ninth round of IVF – this time using embryos created by strangers.

“It was just as emotional as it was with our own embryos,” she said.

The Dukarts didn’t end up needing to take advantage of Zeringue’s money-back guarantee.  Last month, Natosha gave birth to a baby girl she named Milauna.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: embryo; fertility; ivf

1 posted on 11/21/2012 3:26:28 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Pope Paul's final warning was that contraception would lead man to think that he had unlimited dominion over his own body. Sterilization is now the most widely used form of contraception in the U.S.; individuals are so convinced of their rights to control their own bodies that they do not hesitate to alter even their own physical make-up.

The desire for unlimited dominion over one's own body extends beyond contraception. The production of "test-tube babies" is another indication of the refusal to accept the body's limitations; so too are euthanasia and the use of organs transplanted from those who are "nearly" dead. We seek to adjust the body to our desires and timetables, rather than adjusting ourselves to its needs.


2 posted on 11/21/2012 3:28:14 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: All


3 posted on 11/21/2012 3:33:16 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer
Intended parents get to enjoy being pregnant ...


4 posted on 11/21/2012 3:54:42 PM PST by Tax-chick (Are you getting ready for the Advent Kitteh?)
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To: Tax-chick

I wish they would do this with the leftover embryos from other IVF treatments rather than flushing them.

That is an ‘adoption’ I could get behind.

5 posted on 11/21/2012 3:57:01 PM PST by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: Marie

There are abandoned-embryo adoptions, but their successful-delivery rate is lower than with the most recent embryos. This doctor is gambling, literally, on the higher success rate of newly-fertilized embryos.

It’s all very businesslike.

6 posted on 11/21/2012 4:09:05 PM PST by Tax-chick (Are you getting ready for the Advent Kitteh?)
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To: NYer
It's not "similar to adoption," it's just the opposite, and here's why:

With adoption, you're responding to make the best of a pre-existing, unfortunate situation: a child who, because of some misfortune, has no parents who are willing or able to care for him. He is a "predicament": he is an out-of-wedlock child who's being placed because his birth-mother is unable to raise him; or he's a ward of the court because his natural parents were negligent or abusive and have lost custody; or he's an orphan outright. The adoptive parents are stepping into this unfortunate situation in order to provide him with a mother and father. It's child-centered: it's finding a way to meet the needs of a parentless child.

In this IVF scheme, the child is deliberately created to be separated from his genetic father and mother; that is, he is begotten and intentionally alienated him from his natural parents by plan. He's brought into being in a commercial transaction to benefit adults who will pay for him. It is not centered around the needs of a child; it's centered around the desires of adults, who knowingly created him for this transaction.

It would be "like" adoption only if adopted children were deliberately bred for the adoption "market." This is actually the case in some places --- for instance, there have been baby-selling schemes allegedly in Guatemala, where women were deliberately impregnated and then their babies sold away from them by unscrupulous agencies. This is internationally recognized as unethical; in fact, a crime.

7 posted on 11/21/2012 5:09:46 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("God bless the child that's got his own." Billie Holiday / Arthur Herzog Jr)
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