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Karis and Justin Lim
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Karis and Justin Lim

A blessing, not a commodity

Embryo adoption | Paul and Susan Lim hope their embryo adoption story will make Christians think twice about the dangers IVF poses for babies

This is the third installment in our reality series about Paul and Susan Lim, who have chosen to adopt an abandoned embryo, even though the pregnancy could cost Susan her eyesight. Read the first chapter of their story to learn why they decided to pursue embryo adoption.

As Susan Lim approaches her 31st week of pregnancy, her eyes have neither worsened nor improved. She continues to work part-time and care for her older children, Justin and Karis. Her husband Paul has returned from his trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he performed a week of cleft palate surgeries.

Paul finished a surgery back home in Minnesota before calling me for our interview. The Lims identify themselves as normally private folks. Telling WORLD readers about their decision has been a personal sacrifice. They announced their choice to adopt an embryo “not for fame, fortune, and movie deals,” but in hopes of raising awareness and action. In at least one case, their hope may be realized. A believer Paul knows mentioned the Lims’ embryo adoption story to another couple. That couple is now considering adopting an embryo too, Paul said. The Lims also hope their story will inspire Christian couples to avoid IVF because of the dangers it poses to embryos. 

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“IVF makes sense for secular, existential evolutionists, but it doesn’t make sense for a Christian,” Paul said. “Freezing embryos is not kind.” 

Susan’s health remains stable despite the increased tiredness that pregnancy brings. Already parents twice over, the Lims have learned a few things through marriage and childrearing that illuminate the issues surrounding IVF and embryo adoption—especially the commodification of children. Do couples consider children a commodity necessary for them to become parents? Does IVF represent a legitimate method of obeying God’s “subdue and multiply” command, or does it indicate a dangerous and narcissistic culture of people who want to be served rather than to serve? The biblical design for parenting, one of intense other-centeredness, leaves no room to see children as a commodity.

The Lims chose embryos of East Asian descent for two reasons: Asians are less prone to adopt, providing the embryos with a lower chance of rescue, and they wanted to overcome cultural barriers inherent in raising children of a difference race. Even the probable brainpower of the children’s genetic parents, a medical student and research scientist, did not motivate the Lims’ choice. IVF donors typically have money and a high IQ. The Lims chose their children because they needed rescuing. 

During family devotions last week, Paul, Susan, Justin, and Karis read in Acts 10 about Peter, Cornelius, and Gentiles hearing the good news. Stories about Gentiles’ adoption into God’s family have special meaning for the Lims these days. “As I read the Bible, I realize how incredibly radical Jesus was,” Paul said. “We’re so stuck on our own ethnicity and bloodline. But all along, through miraculous intervention, God has been adopting us in.”

Chelsea Kolz
Chelsea Kolz

Chelsea is an editorial assistant for God’s World News. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a degree in literature and writes from the land of red tractors, creeks, and cows known as Upstate New York. Follow Chelsea on Twitter @chelseakolz.

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