Couples around the world find out that they’re unable to conceive children. This is a very heart breaking and detrimental situation in anyones life who is trying to have a child. Infertility affects more than 7 million people in the United States, and about 12 percent of women of childbearing age are considered infertile. Most infertility cases are treated with drug or hormone therapies or surgery. However, about 3 percent of cases require more advanced techniques, such as surrogacy.
A surrogate is a woman who carries a child for an individual or a couple. Stories of surrogacy reach back to the Bible with the story of Abraham, his wife, Sarah, and her handmaiden, Hagar. In this story, Sarah finds she is unable to conceive and arranges for Abraham to impregnate Hagar, who goes on to conceive Ishmael. There are two types of surrogacy options, one is traditional surrogacy and the other is gestational surrogacy. A traditional surrogate is a woman who donates her own egg and then carries the pregnancy.
The surrogate’s egg is fertilized through artificial insemination with the sperm of the father or a sperm donor. Traditional surrogates are genetically related to the child because their own eggs are used in the process. A gestational surrogate or also known as a gestational carrier, are not biologically or genetically related to the child she carries. Gestational carriers become pregnant through the process of in vitro fertilization, where an embryo or embryos created from the eggs and sperm of the intended parents.
Donor eggs and donor sperm are selected by the intended parents are implanted in the uterus for the gestational period of 40 weeks. Intended parents and surrogates have to consider what type of surrogacy arrangement they feel like they are comfortable with. There are two common types of arrangements pertaining to surrogacy, which are commercial and altruistic. In commercial surrogacy the surrogate is paid for her time and effort, any travel involved and related medical expenses not covered by insurance.
The chosen surrogate and the intended parents usually don’t know each other before the arrangement. In altruistic surrogacy arrangements, the carrier sees no financial gain, and the arrangements are commonly made with relatives or friends of the intended parents. Surrogacy is against the Church’s teaching, they teach that techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral.
These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other (Catechism). ” The use of a surrogate mother is a process that is thousands of years old. This is proven in the writings of the Bible in the story of Abraham and his wife Sarah, she was infertile. At this time in the earth’s history, a woman who was childless was often at times shamed by her family and friends.
These women would offer their servants to act as a surrogate. The Bible does not specifically forbid the process of surrogacy. The question that you must ask is, whether it is considered to be moral or ethical with keeping children conceived out of love, born from a married couple. The Bible has also been interpreted as stating that children are a gift, not a right. Therefore, God will bless some people with children and others not. Personally I believe surrogacy is an “okay” practice.
Surrogacy ultimately brings joy to the couple and why would god not want us to seek happiness. Surrogacy may seem to be defying God’s will but I think it’s a way of making a precious life out of a bad situation. Being told you will not be able to have your own children is a heart breaking situation. You would never know how it felt until you experience yourself. What gives us the right to judge someone else for wanting a child from their own DNA. If Surrogacy can use one embryo and not kill of the others I think it should be allowed in the church.