Perspectives on Surrogate Motherhood

What are the theological and ethical implications of a woman carrying a preborn child for another woman? I’ve been thinking about doing this for an infertile couple I know. But I’m a Christian and want to be sure I consider any biblical issues about surrogacy.

Like you, we feel tremendous compassion for childless couples — and we can understand why some want to do whatever it takes to hold a child in their arms. Still, we’d discourage arrangements involving surrogacy.

Surrogacy is one of those controversial issues where both Christians and non-Christians have different opinions. And because Scripture doesn’t give written guidelines about the Lord’s will for surrogacy, we’re left to guess at the moral implications.

Here at Focus on the Family, we’re very reluctant to put words in God’s mouth. We can only offer the conclusions we’ve come to. And while we know this may be difficult to hear, surrogacy, in our opinion, is morally wrong.

Spiritual and ethical questions of surrogacy

The questionable nature of surrogacy should raise red flags for those who want to follow the Lord’s plan for human procreation.

What are the consequences to the God-designed union between husband and wife? God created marriage, sex, conception, and childbirth to function as interwoven events of a single natural continuum.

But by artificially separating those acts, modern science oversteps its boundaries — and the sanctity of marriage is at risk. Is it possible that couples who use surrogacy are essentially guilty of adultery or a breach of the marriage covenant?

Do we fully understand the implications of turning conception and childbearing into services for hire? Even the idea of “renting a womb” is ethically questionable.

What about the child? Who does she belong to, really? (We’re not talking about legality, here — but spiritually, morally, and emotionally.) Does surrogacy make the child a commodity?

Is the potential surrogate mother carefully considering her own well-being? The contract might have been met. But maternal instinct could make it painfully difficult to part with the child she’s carried in her body for nine months.

Finding support

Dealing with infertility and the questions raised by surrogacy can be challenging. But you’re not alone — and neither is the couple you mentioned. Would you let us come alongside you? We’d love to hear each of your stories and talk with you in more detail.

Give us a call. Our Counseling department can offer referrals to support groups, counselors, and qualified Christian therapists who can help you work through these issues.


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