Turning “surplus” embryos into jewelry is “sacred art”

By Dave Andrusko

A friend passed this news story along to me this morning and even though it takes an awfully lot to surprise me, this left me gaping.

There is a company in Australia that is making couples leap for joy, according to Lisa Mayoh, couples such as Belinda and Shaun Stafford who created more human embryos via IVF than they implanted.

What is the source of their “joy and comfort”? They are “turning embryos into keepsake jewelry.” And, no, I am not making this up.

“Now Ms Stafford has all of her babies with her every day – including seven embryos in her heart-shaped pendant worn close to her heart, always.”

You have to read the full story to fully appreciate what is taking place.

The couple had three children via IVF–Lachlan, 4, and 21-month-old twins Charlotte and William.

We’re told that storing the extra embryos was too expensive “and disposing of them unimaginable.” What to do?

What about later implanting some of the remaining embryos? “I wanted to keep having more babies but the emotional toll, plus financially it was too much,” Mrs. Stafford told Mayoh.

There was another option. “I’d heard others had planted them in the garden but we move a lot, so I couldn’t do this.” After all, she added, “I needed them with me.”

Then they heard about Baby Bird Hummingbirds’ service. What kind of jewelry did she choose? A heart pendant, “so she could carry her babies close to her heart, where they should be. She now carries her babies with her everywhere she goes.”

Mayoh interviewed Amy McGlade, founder of Baby Bee Hummingbird. She said they’ve crafted thousands of pieces of jewelry since 2014, including 50 from human embryos.

Cost? Anywhere from $80 to $600, depending on the piece.

She describes making jewelry from human embryos as “sacred art.” According to Mayoh

Ms McGlade, who has been a midwife for 10 years, said families send them ‘embryo straws’ which the company expertly preserves and cremates, creating a type of ‘embryo ash’.

“We are experts in preserving DNA so that it can be set in a jeweler’s grade resin,” she said.

This “sacred art,” she says, is not only “special,” but is “providing a beautiful and meaningful way to gently close the door.”

“What a better way to celebrate your most treasured gift, your child, than through jewelry?

“It’s about the everlasting tangible keepsake of a loved one that you can have forever.”

As for the Staffords, Mrs. Stafford tells Mayoh that the six-year IVF journey was “a strain on our marriage and just plain hard.”

“Finding this has brought me so much comfort and joy.

“I finally at peace and my journey complete.

“My embryos were my babies – frozen in time.

“When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them.

“Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”