Skip links

A Catholic dilemma: Should IVF embryos be adopted?


As more Americans than ever before turn to in vitro fertilization to create families, a surprising ethical question — what to do with thousands of embryos stuck in a sort of frozen limbo — is dividing US Catholics who call themselves pro-life, with some calling for the embryos to be adopted, while others say: Not so fast.

In vitro fertilization, in use since the early 1980s, is pretty straightforward, at least medically. Doctors combine human eggs and sperm outside of the womb to create embryos and then implant one or more in a woman’s uterus. To increase the chances of success, doctors produce several embryos at a time, not all of which are implanted.

About 65,000 children were born in the United States last year using the procedure.

The cost can run into tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the potential emotional toll on parents waiting to see if the implantation leads to a successful pregnancy.

For some Catholics, IVF is a last-resort option that has enabled them to have a family. But the issue is not as clear-cut for other Catholics who consider themselves pro-life. They are troubled by the creation of fertilized eggs, a potential human life, that are not carried to term. It’s one of the reasons that the procedure is condemned by the Church.

Read more at…

Share with Friends:

Leave a comment