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Ask A Pastor: What is Wrong With Surrogate Motherhood?

First, what is it?

Surrogate gestational motherhood can be defined as an arrangement where one woman carries a pregnancy to term for another woman who is either unable or unwilling to do so.

Why is it around?

1st, there have been many technological advances that have been made in science.  This also brings with it moral and ethical dilemmas.  

2nd, there are couples who want to have children.  Some couples have difficulty conceiving and bearing a child.  Let me say that it is not always easy for a couple to remain childless.  This is often a heavy burden, and great sympathy and love should be shown to those who at present are unable to have children.  

So, it involves In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – what is that?

In Vitro means “in glass,” and it means that the actual fertilization of the egg takes place in a lab, rather than in the woman’s reproductive system.  IVF involves the removal of an egg from a woman, its fertilization in a lab by the insertion of sperm cells into the dish.  After this, the embryo is implanted in the uterus, with the hope that implantation will occur and a pregnancy will continue to a health birth.

Normally, multiple eggs are fertilized, and sometimes multiple embryos implanted, or remaining embryos are kept frozen for possible future use.  This often leads to multiple pregnancies, and in some cases healthy implanted embryos are removed from the womb and destroyed by “selective reduction.”  And what happens a couple does not use the remaining fertilized but frozen eggs?  Discard them?  Leave them indefinitely in an “egg bank”?

Is this ok?

Good question.  You will notice that this child-making process (note I did not say “child-bearing” process) has been taken out of the bedroom and put it in the laboratory.  Human reproduction has been reduced to an artificial process.  But a Christian worldview commitment (or you can say a biblical commitment) means that we view child-bearing as the result of a loving relationship between a husband and a wife in the intimacy of a marital union (Gen. 4:1; 4:17; Ex. 2:2; Ruth 4:13; 1 Chron. 7:23; Is. 8:3).  

Does surrogate motherhood have no other ethical problems?

Here are some further problems that I see:

• Surrogacy demeans the birth mother’s status by reducing her to a “baby-breeder.”

• Surrogacy breaks the relationship between birth mother and child.  A bond is formed

between mother and child in the womb, but the surrogate mother has to deny her own feelings that she is a mother and repress whatever motherly love she feels for the child.  This impacts the child as well, and it would be understandable that the child would ask: who is my mother?

• The surrogate mother is sometimes required to abort the baby if the child has some disease or defect.  Or if the child does not meet up to the expectations of the parents, this child may be resented.  

• Surrogacy constitutes the purchase and sale of children.  A surrogate mother is signing away her parental rights in exchange for cash.  Simply put: It is “baby-selling.”  

Now what

• Let us realize that the modern technological advances sometimes come with moral and ethical dilemmas and not just blindly use them because they are available.  

• Let us be convinced of how God connects marriage, procreation and parenting.

• Let us recommit ourselves and submit to the precepts and principles of God’s word in all areas of life, also in the face of ethical dilemmas.

• Let us prayerfully enter marriage and look to the Lord to provide us with children.

• Let us offer a sympathizing and prayerful witness to others if the Lord withholds children from them, and cast all our cares upon Him (1 Pet. 5:7).  


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