Human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, as well as other bodily parts and fluids, can be transformed into jewelry.
IVF human embryos are fertilized outside of the body in a laboratory incubator, and typically are implanted at days 5-7 days of human development. (The above image shows a human embryo at 16 weeks of human development.)
Typically, excess IVF human embryos are frozen, but the service can be costly.
According to Newser,
A company in Australia that has been making jewelry and various mementos for parents using actual raw materials from development—think breast milk, hair, the placenta and cord stump—has taken things a step further, and critics are appalled. Baby Bee Hummingbirds, started by midwife Amy McGlade in 2014, was just profiled by parenting blog Kidspot, which notes that the company has now added embryos to the mix. “My embryos were my babies—frozen in time,” one mother of a 4-year-old and 21-month-old twins says of her difficult IVF journey. “When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy [the extra embryos]. Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.” She says she carries her seven embryos in a heart-shaped pendant so that they will forever be close to her heart.
IVF human embryos are set in “embryo straws,” which are then cremated prior to the creation of the jewelry. The “cremains” are then set within a durable resin, which can be colored with various “shimmer tints.” Glistening mica can also be added to the resin, according to the firm’s Web site. The resulting resin stone is then set into jewelry.
Speaking about her company’s unique product lines, McGlade said,
It’s special because the embryos often signifying the end of a journey, and we are providing a beautiful and meaningful way to gently close the door.
Reactions from families who understand the journey are amazing and heartfelt. They are so grateful for our service.
What a better way to celebrate your most treasured gift, your child, than through jewellery?
It’s about the everlasting tangible keepsake of a loved one that you can have forever.”
Attorney and medical ethicist Wesley J. Smith called the company’s service “[illustrates] the crassness of our age,” given that the embryos are dead.