We must judge each form of assisted reproduction on its own merits, but underlying all of them is the fundamental question: “Is having children a right?” Read more.
Assisted reproductive technology is one of the most complex moral fields debated today. In Donum Vitae, the Catholic Church provides five general guidelines that couples can use to determine what forms of assisted reproduction are morally acceptable. Read more.
NaProTechnology, short for natural procreative technology, is a health science that helps women monitor and maintain their reproductive health. In addition, it can include surgical and medical treatments for reproductive problems. These techniques are moral because they cooperate with the woman’s reproductive system rather than working against it. Read more.
Surrogate motherhood is the oldest form of assisted reproduction. Historians relate that it was practiced in several ancient societies, usually for the purpose of circumventing laws that allowed a husband to divorce his wife on the grounds of her alleged infertility. Read more.
Altruistic surrogacy is a surrogacy arrangement in which a woman carries the child as an act of generosity and does not receive financial compensation apart from medical expenses and such. As in any surrogacy arrangement, the woman carries a child conceived by IVF or artificial insemination and then gives the child to the intended parents after the birth. Read more.
This article is meant to be an overview of the types of surrogacy that are being discussed openly in the public square, so Catholics may be informed of the types of surrogacy and ethical issues surrounding them. It may be stated right from the outset that there are no true “pros” of surrogacy; the act is considered gravely immoral and may not be entered into under any circumstances. Read more.
Among the ethical issues with in vitro fertilization is the fact that many human embryos are discarded in the IVF process. In addition, women who use IVF to become pregnant often opt for “pregnancy reductions” (read: abortions) afterward to selectively kill off the “extra” embryos. Read more.
The “extra” embryos formed in the IVF process are frozen in what is known as cryopreservation. This poses a serious moral problem: at this stage the embryo is a unique human individual whose life must be respected, protected, loved, and served. Read more.
In vitro fertilization is a method by which a male’s sperm* and a female’s eggs are collected by a physician, then mixed in a Petri dish in the hopes that one or more of the eggs will become fertilized. Science teaches us that, from the very first moment an egg is fertilized, it becomes an embryo—and an unrepeatable human being now exists. Read more.
What are good and faithful Catholics supposed to do when they encounter the anguish or despair in life that comes from an inability to do something they desperately want and that seems so natural—like having children? How should we apply our ability to trust to a situation like this? Read more.
There are faith-filled people in your community, in your state, and throughout the country who carry the cross of infertility. They, too, know the pain of wanting a child. Connecting with them, befriending them, and sharing your thoughts and feelings help the healing process. There are thousands of people who have come together to form Catholic communities to help one another. You can find them virtually anywhere—and virtually! Read more.
The history of assisted reproductive technology is a story of an increasing commercialization of human beings, of children bought and sold. Read more.