What does the Catholic Church say about embryo adoption?

  1.  Connie

    Hello, I’m a Catholic woman and I’m really concerned about the hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos left over after in vitro fertilization cycles of couples who finally got pregnant. I imagine them being stored in storerooms of clinics and hospitals all around the world, and just makes me feel terribly sick! What does the Catholic Church say about this? Is there anything we Catholics could do to improve the situation? I’ve heard some people talk about “prenatal adoption”, which means that a woman offer to bear these embryos and adopt them as their own children before they are born, is it possible? I mean, does the Holy See consider this is an ethical option?

    December 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm
    #7987 Reply
  2. Sandra F. Sandra F.
    inviTRA's Moderator

    Hello Connie,

    there are two sides of the same coin on this issue. Let me give you a brief summary.

    On the one hand, the Catholic Church is not in favor of embryo donation and adoption, since, according to its judgement, it contradicts the ethics of marriage, that is, it breaks the unity of the conjugal act. According to the Holy See, marriage is constituted by the conjugal relation of husband and wife, the openness to life involved in this act, and the possibility of fertilization between their own gametes (eggs and sperm), leading therefore to the achievement of the corresponding pregnancy.

    Thus, the Catholic Church believes that separating pregnancy from the aforementioned group of biological steps involved in marriage breaks the unity of the spouses and, therefore, there is no possible way it could be morally acceptable.

    On the other hand, however, some defenders of pre-natal adoption, as you say, have a very different opinion on this matter; in fact, they have shown public support to embryo adoption because it gives these embryos an opportunity to live. According to their point of view, all in all these embryos are also human beings, with all their rights and dignity, even though they were conceived in a morally unaccepted way.

    In conclusion, as a Catholic person you should value on which side you are or wish to be and then act accordingly.

    Hope I have clarified your concerns 😉

    December 23, 2015 at 4:52 pm
    #7988 Reply