Is surrogate motherhood a sin?

What does the Church say about being a surrogate mother? I have a friend who had cancer that left her barren, but she wants children and has viable ovum. Her husband is healthy. Would it be a sin for someone to carry their child to term as a surrogate?

[quote=Seliz]Would it be a sin for someone to carry their child to term as a surrogate?

Yes. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other” (CCC 2376).

Infertility is a difficult cross, and one that should be offered up to Christ in union with Christ’s own cross. Through union with Christ’s cross, it is possible for a physically infertile couple to be spiritually fruitful, for themselves and for others:

The gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others (CCC 2379).

As the Catechism notes, it may be possible for an infertile couple to take on tasks that fertile couples cannot (e.g., volunteer work, mentoring needy children, engaging in one of the helping occupations that are otherwise too stressful for couples with children), or it may be possible for an infertile couple to adopt a child without a family or foster a child who needs a safe haven.

Recommended reading:

Donum Vitae by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit