How to let go of bias against non-Catholics who have had children by artificial means


#1

Hey guys,
So, I’m in a dilemma here. Part of me hates that perfectly responsible married couples who want children are sometimes burdened with infertility, but I agree with the church’s teachings on artificial fertility treatments. I’m trying to be very understanding because I cannot imagine the heartache for couples who really want kids but can’t have them, but I think that if it doesn’t happen naturally, you should adopt, because so many children are out there who need good homes.
I have a friend who is a Baptist and had twins through in vitro, and everyone keeps saying what a miracle they are and how they are such blessings from God, but a big part of me feels like it’s wrong, and I hate feeling that way towards a friend.
Have you guys ever dealt with this? I think it’s too complex of an issue for me to understand since I’ve never been in that position. What do you guys think?


#2

Every child is a blessing from God so in that respect we all can agree. I think no differently about a couple who contracepts and then has a child naturally. They use illicit means but the child is a blessing. Same thing for out of wedlock children.


#3

I don’t know what to suggest to you with regard to your feelings. However, I recommend that you refrain from sharing these feelings with the parents of these miracles, as they would likely become former friends at that point.


#4

I cherish her very much, I would never say anything to her about it. We’ve talked about her fertility struggles briefly before, but she’s an all around awesome person.


#5

Yeah I don’t know why I have a hard time feeling that way. I guess because I’m not really nuts about kids to begin with, maybe? But I’m really happy for those who are happy to have children.


#6

Careful, I have four kids and one on the way. Saying you aren’t nuts about the things I hold the dearest in my life can leave a bad taste in my mouth.


#7

You automatically don’t like people who don’t like kids? I’m sure your kids are cool, I’m just not really a big fan of them in general is what I’m saying. Maybe that’s part of why I feel certain ways about how they are brought into the world.


#8

Well. Kids are human. They are actually people to emulate as Jesus told us to have faith like a child. So yes, when another human says they do not like an entire group of humans based on age, race, or color of hair, I have a problem with it. Just like I would have a problem if you said you did not like the race my wife was. I could care less if my kids are cool or not. And you don’t need to fawn all over them, but offering them some respect by not saying you don’t like them is the mature, civilized, and most importantly Holy thing to do.

Perhaps you are young and that is why you do not understand some things. And that is ok. But please, try to be respectful to any human regardless of how they came into this world. It is paramount to your own faith.


#9

I was just pointing it out since I have so many mixed feelings when it comes to kids that it’s hard for me to really separate certain issues. Also, I don’t continue to dislike them when they become adults. I try hard to like kids when it comes to friends and family, and I always make it a point to meet new babies that come into our friend group, but a lot of people have asked me explicitly as well and I don’t want to lie about it. That’s just how I feel. :shrug:


#10

Let go of any ill will toward your friends who used in vitro fertilization. But pray for them, and especially pray for the children so conceived. The couple probably spent a lot of money at an IVF clinic. There may have been more embryos created than were implanted. IVF is wrong, but your friends do not realize that.

At some point, I’m afraid, IVF children are going to find out the circumstances of their conception. They may realize that they have brothers or sisters who were allowed to die and not implanted. They may feel like expensive products which were bought and paid for. Keep them in your prayers.


#11

I normally don’t mention anything about it or I’ll just not comment on the whole thing. I guess this is sort of a bigger question of what would be the Catholic way to think about certain things that go against church teaching.

But, yeah, I’m 24, I’ve never dealt with childbearing issues so it’s hard to grasp sometimes.


#12

Expensive products? :frowning:

I suspect the children would feel especially wanted and loved. :slight_smile:


#13

I’ve read an angry blog from a child of surrogacy who feels like a product. He used the words, “I feel like I’ve been bought and paid for.” He seemed angry that he was treated as an object to be bought. If I can find it I’ll post a link.


#14

Here is the quote I was thinking of. I found it re-quoted on this blog: theothersideofsurrogacy.blogspot.com/

Quote from the “Son of a Surrogate” Blog

“It looks to me like I was bought and sold. You can dress it up with as many pretty words as you want. You can wrap it up in a silk freaking scarf. You can pretend these are not your children. You can say it is a gift or you donated your egg to the IM. But the fact is that someone has contracted you to make a child, give up your parental rights and hand over your flesh and blood child. I don’t care if you think I am not your child; what about what I think! Maybe I know I am your child .When you exchange something for money it is called a commodity.”

It is about surrogacy, not specifically IVF, but I think many artificially conceived children will have similar feelings. Their parents wanted what they wanted, not necessarily what the child needed. They may feel more like a commodity than a gift.


#15

I don’t doubt the legitimacy of your post. However, I believe that person’s blog would be an extreme minority opinion.


#16

:thumbsup:


#17

You know the truth. Artificial means are against the order of things, and not pleasing to God. We ought not to recur to them. [As far as I know, this is the teaching of the Church on this matter.]

How to deal with bias, anger, or other negative feelings towards Catholics or non-Catholics who recurred to such immoral means? Very simple. The same way we deal with any Catholic or non-Catholic who does something that has the appearance of sin. We do not judge them. We judge the sin, and we condemn it. But not the sinner.

This was one of the most important points that St. Francis of Assisi made in his rule:

I admonish and exhort the brothers not to despise or judge men whom they see …] but rather let each one judge and despise himself.

You may replace …] with any sinful or imperfect behavior. The sense is very simple: neither despise nor judge nor condemn sinners. Sinners can only be loved.

Misericordia, mercy, is the correct response. Imagine how much that couple suffered. Imagine how much they longed for a child. Don’t you feel pity that they were oblivious to the truth that we as Catholics received, and followed an imperfect path rather than willfully embracing the cross?

Now turn your heart towards faithful Catholics who have embraced the very same cross, and may be tempted daily to recur to artificial means to have children. Pray for them, rather than wasting time to judge and condemn the others, that they may have the grace to remain faithful to Christ and His Church, and attain eternal life through the narrow way, and be courageous, even heroic witnesses to the true faith, to the fullness of the truth.


#18

So, I guess that brings up another question for me: how do you love the sinner but not the sin? How do we separate the two?


#19

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” - Jesus

"And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” - Jesus

I don’t ask me kids who they want to be like when they grow up. I want to be like them when I grow up.


#20

This is not a RC perspective, but a general Christian one:

You are supposed to hate the sin. You hate the sin because of the rift it creates between the sinner and God (sure you feel this).

You are to love the sinner because while you are still in sin, God still loves you and forgives you. You receive a free gift - now give freely. If you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you.


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