Lancaster has now started her own embryo adoption service.
The day the frozen embryo arrived via FedEx was the day Maria Lancaster began experiencing firsthand what she had always believed: that human life begins at conception.
Lancaster was 46 and, after having three miscarriages, she and her husband, Jeff, longed for a child. One day, they heard about "embryo adoptions"--where couples who've gone through in vitro fertilization donate any leftover embryos to infertile couples. Several months of soul-searching later, they received a frozen embryo from a North Carolina clinic--cells that were thawed and implanted in Lancaster's womb. Now Lancaster looks at her 5-year-old daughter Elisha--lively and precocious--and thinks: miracle. "It was a demonstration to us that every embryo is a complete, unique and total human being in its tiniest form," Lancaster said.