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Snowflake children is a term used by organizations that promote the adoption of embryos left over from in vitro fertilization to describe children that result, where the children's parents were not the original cell donors. These embryos are transferred to infertile couples via embryo adoption, although the legal process of taking ownership of an embryo differs from that of traditional adoption. According to a CBS News article dated July 28, 2005, the term "Snowflake" was coined by the first agency to provide the transfer service, Nightlight Christian Adoptions. Ninety-nine children have been born from this program. Nightlight Christian AdoptionsMembers of the Nightlight Christian Adoptions, the Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign, and others now also use the term for the frozen embryos themselves.While the term "Snowflake babies" has been used to describe babies born in this manner, the first snowflake children are no longer babies. According to the CBS News article, the first snowflake baby, Hannah, was born in 1998 to Marlene and John Strege. President George W. Bush has made public appearances together with snowflake children while speaking about his support for adult stem cell research and his opposition to embryonic stem cell research.
Criticism of the term Members of the Nightlight Christian Adoptions, the Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign, and Embryos Alive Adoption Agency use the term "snowflake baby" as a synonym for any embryo that has been frozen. However, that use of the term, and the related term "embryo adoption," are controversial.
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