Artificial Insemination being married & discovering your donor is the same


#1

Saw an interesting letter regarding artificial insemination, where the man and the woman had the same biological donor (they are half siblings). They discovered this several years after they got married.

Canonically speaking, what does this do to their marriage?


#2

It would invalidate it immediately.


#3

Interesting question. I’m sure a tribunal would have to look into it.


#4

That's a pretty incredible coincidence. How sad.


#5

[quote="Melchior, post:1, topic:315736"]
Saw an interesting letter regarding artificial insemination, where the man and the woman had the same biological donor (they are half siblings). They discovered this several years after they got married.

Canonically speaking, what does this do to their marriage?

[/quote]

The Church assumes all marriages she has witnessed to be valid. To be rendered invalid, it would have to be proven to the Church tribunal that it lacked validity, and they would have to render that decision. Otherwise it is still valid in the eyes of the Church.

Biologically speaking it is not generally a problem that they would share some genetic traits or dispositions. It doesn't usually become a problem unless they repeatedly inbred for several generations.

They entered into marital union in good faith, ignorant of any inpediments. The Church acted in good faith. I see no reason they should seek to end the union.


#6

This is one of the reasons that the Church condemns this practice :shrug:


#7

Under the current Code of Canon Law, consanguinity in the second degree is an impediment to valid marriage that cannot be dispensed:

Can. 1091 §1. In the direct line of consanguinity marriage is invalid between all ancestors and descendants, both legitimate and natural.

§2. In the collateral line marriage is invalid up to and including the fourth degree.

Can. 1078 §1. The local ordinary can dispense his own subjects residing anywhere and all actually present in his own territory from all impediments of ecclesiastical law except those whose dispensation is reserved to the Apostolic See.

§3. A dispensation is never given from the impediment of consanguinity in the direct line or in the second degree of the collateral line.


#8

[quote="dshix, post:4, topic:315736"]
That's a pretty incredible coincidence. How sad.

[/quote]

Sperm donors sometimes have* very* large numbers of children, so it may not be as big of a coincidence as you think if two people who are the product of artificial insemination get married to each other. Besides the morality issue, there are some serious health concerns related to sperm donation. Here's a couple of stories from Lifesite News on sperm donors with 43 and 150 children.
lifesitenews.com/news/sperm-donor-father-of-43-children-passed-on-genetic-disease/
lifesitenews.com/news/1-father-150-children-selective-reduction-the-bizarre-and-scary-world-of-re/


#9

[quote="gardenswithkids, post:8, topic:315736"]
Sperm donors sometimes have* very* large numbers of children, so it may not be as big of a coincidence as you think if two people who are the product of artificial insemination get married to each other. Besides the morality issue, there are some serious health concerns related to sperm donation. Here's a couple of stories from Lifesite News on sperm donors with 43 and 150 children.
lifesitenews.com/news/sperm-donor-father-of-43-children-passed-on-genetic-disease/
lifesitenews.com/news/1-father-150-children-selective-reduction-the-bizarre-and-scary-world-of-re/

[/quote]

So very, very sad.


#10

[quote="dshix, post:4, topic:315736"]
That's a pretty incredible coincidence. How sad.

[/quote]

It's not that coincidental, unfortunately. There is an innate attraction toward people who are closely related. This assists in building strong families. However, in the absence of a family relationship, it can manifest sexually if the victims meet as adults. There was even a case a few years ago where a young woman sought out her father, was counseled ahead of time about genetic sexual attraction but still wound up in an inappropriate relationship.

In the case of the OP, the victims may well have been raised in the same region. If so, it is likely they would have eventually crossed paths.

Wikipedia article


#11

[quote="SonCatcher, post:10, topic:315736"]
It's not that coincidental, unfortunately. There is an innate attraction toward people who are closely related. This assists in building strong families. However, in the absence of a family relationship, it can manifest sexually if the victims meet as adults. There was even a case a few years ago where a young woman sought out her father, was counseled ahead of time about genetic sexual attraction but still wound up in an inappropriate relationship.

In the case of the OP, the victims may well have been raised in the same region. If so, it is likely they would have eventually crossed paths.

Wikipedia article

[/quote]

A similar situation happened a few years ago in Belgium, I think, a brother and sister were separated at birth or a very young age and they met, and for about four years have been trying to sue the government into letting them marry.


#12

[quote="Regina_Love, post:5, topic:315736"]
The Church assumes all marriages she has witnessed to be valid. To be rendered invalid, it would have to be proven to the Church tribunal that it lacked validity, and they would have to render that decision. Otherwise it is still valid in the eyes of the Church.

Biologically speaking it is not generally a problem that they would share some genetic traits or dispositions. It doesn't usually become a problem unless they repeatedly inbred for several generations.

They entered into marital union in good faith, ignorant of any inpediments. The Church acted in good faith. I see no reason they should seek to end the union.

[/quote]

This sounds reasonable. However.....

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:315736"]
Under the current Code of Canon Law, consanguinity in the second degree is an impediment to valid marriage that cannot be dispensed:

Can. 1091 §1. In the direct line of consanguinity marriage is invalid between all ancestors and descendants, both legitimate and natural.

§2. In the collateral line marriage is invalid up to and including the fourth degree.

Can. 1078 §1. The local ordinary can dispense his own subjects residing anywhere and all actually present in his own territory from all impediments of ecclesiastical law except those whose dispensation is reserved to the Apostolic See.

§3. A dispensation is never given from the impediment of consanguinity in the direct line or in the second degree of the collateral line.

[/quote]

Canon Law be Canon Law.

Which is why I posed the question.


#13

There are lots of very good reasons why close relatives (including bio half-siblings) are prohibited from marrying. The Church will not (cannot?) allow these marriages for the same very good reasons.

All the good faith and innocence in the world cannot make a marriage between bio half-siblings valid.


#14

[quote="LilyM, post:13, topic:315736"]
All the good faith and innocence in the world cannot make a marriage between bio half-siblings valid.

[/quote]

I can't recall the source any more but I'm not sure the matter was always a no-no, e.g. in certain cultures that were converting. Also, Sarah was Abraham's half-sister.


#15

[quote="chevalier, post:14, topic:315736"]
I can't recall the source any more but I'm not sure the matter was always a no-no, e.g. in certain cultures that were converting. Also, Sarah was Abraham's half-sister.

[/quote]

It has been prohibited since the time Leviticus was written, at least. Abraham would not have been liable to a law established hundreds of years after his time. The Church has always required converts to renounce consanguineous marriages. This is a standard explanation for the divorce exception in Matthew ("if one divorces, except for immorality...")


#16

[quote="LilyM, post:13, topic:315736"]
There are lots of very good reasons why close relatives (including bio half-siblings) are prohibited from marrying. The Church will not (cannot?) allow these marriages for the same very good reasons.

All the good faith and innocence in the world cannot make a marriage between bio half-siblings valid.

[/quote]

The Church has never definitively definedthe question of whether consanguinity in the second degree of the collateral line is a divine law impediment. The prevailing school of thought is that it is not.


#17

[quote="1ke, post:16, topic:315736"]
The Church has never definitively definedthe question of whether consanguinity in the second degree of the collateral line is a divine law impediment. The prevailing school of thought is that it is not.

[/quote]

But sibs from the same donor are not second degree, they are first degree collateral, as they have at least one parent (their father) in common. First degree collateral relationship IS AFAIK a divine law impediment and cannot be dispensed.


#18

:thumbsup:

[quote="R_C, post:6, topic:315736"]
This is one of the reasons that the Church condemns this practice :shrug:

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#19

[quote="LilyM, post:17, topic:315736"]
But sibs from the same donor are not second degree, they are first degree collateral, as they have at least one parent (their father) in common. First degree collateral relationship IS AFAIK a divine law impediment and cannot be dispensed.

[/quote]

No, sibs are second degree collateral the way the 1983 Code of Canon Law counts degrees. The 1983 code counts the number of persons, not generations.

And, it is not definitive that sibling consanguinity is a divine law impediment (see Commentary on the Code of Canon Law).


#20

[quote="1ke, post:19, topic:315736"]
No, sibs are second degree collateral the way the 1983 Code of Canon Law counts degrees. The 1983 code counts the number of persons, not generations.

And, it is not definitive that sibling consanguinity is a divine law impediment (see Commentary on the Code of Canon Law).

[/quote]

Canon law uses a different definition from the one I was looking at. Fair enough. So perhaps not a divine law impediment.

Nonetheless, thank the Lord, an impediment which cannot be dispensed from per Canon Law, so still not a marriage which can ever be valid.


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