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Pondering Paula wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is surrogacy acceptable when a sister is being a surrogate for their brother and his wife and there is no money being exchanged?


  { Is surrogacy acceptable when a sister is a surrogate for her brother and his wife for no money? }

Eric replied:


The only form of procreation sanctioned by the Church is a natural (in vivo) fertilization by the father in the customary way within the womb of the mother, carried to term by the (same) mother.


Bob replied:


The issue around surrogate parenting isn't about money; there are other moral issues.

The fundamental nature of procreation is designed to happen between a man and woman through coitus. For Christians that means between a husband and wife. As soon as you create life in another way, i.e., test tubes, or coitus between man and not-wife, you are disfiguring the fundamental act by separating the procreative and unitive aspects of this sacred marital power.

Therefore, in theory, the only way for surrogacy to be morally acceptable is for the child to be conceived by the mother and father in the natural way, then placed in the surrogate. This would be predicated on the idea that the transfer is possible/plausible. Likewise, this would only be attempted if the mother could, in no way, safely raise the child in her own womb.

So, while intentions may be good, it is difficult to find a practical moral way to do surrogacy. I know someone who has adopted an embryo (frozen by other parents and left in that state indefinitely) and is now carrying this child in a healthy pregnancy. For this person, the adoption was a form of rescue, inasmuch as the child was already conceived and needed a home. I will prescind from any debate on whether this kind of adoption further gives support to a fertility industry gone amok — that’s a debate for another day.

This is by far a better choice for someone who wants the ability to adopt, and have the benefit of the earliest possible start with the child. If a husband and wife can’t conceive, but the wife can carry a child, this may be an option for them.


Bob K.

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