Marriage Form Question

My fiance and I are older, middles 40’s and there is a question on our marriage form that we have to answer that states that we understand one of the purposes of marriage is procreation and that we accept this and INTEND to fulfill this purpose. It wouldn’t be physically possible at my age or it would be some kind of miracle if it did happen.

So my question is how do I answer this? I thought being open to children (which I am) is church teaching and not having to agree to fulfill something I may not be able to fulfill? or is it just mere semantics?

Thanks for your replies :slight_smile:

With God, everything is possible. Many women in their 40’s have conceived.

TeaPetals, congratulations on your upcoming marriage! I have always understood that ‘accept and intend’ in this context means exactly what you say you are, open to children. It does not say that you will do this, only that you intend (hope) to do this. No couple knows for sure that they are able to conceive a child, regardless of age, but no couple can enter a Catholic marriage saying, “I do not want to have children, ever”

In a word, the answer you need to put on the form is “Yes”. The question means that you aren’t planning to use any form of artificial contraception to prevent a pregnancy from happening. Assuming that is true–then you are open–you just don’t think it’s going to occur. Even if one of you were sterilized in the past–while that person would need to confess the sin if he or you already hasn’t done so-- the church doesn’t require a reversal–so the answer would still be “Yes”. Lastly, a word of warning–I’m in the OB “biz” and if you think you can’t get pregnant in your 40’s because perhaps you are peri-menopausal and only having erratic cycles–never count on it. I have delivered more than one baby for women–in one case a woman 49 years old— who thought the exact same thing! Menopause is defined as when a woman has gone at least one full year without a period–and I usually do blood work even then, just to be sure! Just sayin… :thumbsup:

The Church teaches that a valid Christian marriage must be open to life. Children are a blessing from God. This is the consistent unchanged historic Judeo-Christian teaching. Of course, this belief is very much in opposition to the modern Culture of Death.

Don’t worry, there is no reason to feel a failure for not having children. God has his purposes.

Best wishes for your marriage!

So true! I have a friend who at 44 stopped using NFP because they thought she couldn’t get pregnant and now they are happily expecting another baby!

You must be open to life but the Church does not teach that children are a requirement.
Infertility is not an impediment to marriage.

Thank you for all your replies. I guess the wording of the question just confused me.

You must be open to children. There are two requirements. Neither of you must have perpetual impotence. You must both be open to children therefore you cannot use contraception during sexual intercourse. The fact that one or both of you might be sterile or you might not be able to have children because you are beyond childbearing years will not prevent you from being married.

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