Reproductive technology

What is the church’s stand on IVF, artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood etc for childless couples (especially for those who are desperate to have children).

IIRC, denounced as exploitative to the child created, and to the surrogate mother. Basically a sinful means of attempting to achieve a legitimate good.

They are all forbidden due to the nature of the technology.

It would be better for the couple to find the exact cause of the infertility - from experts like ppvi institute or another nfp doctor who understands fertility and infertility. Sometimes it could just be endometriosis that could be the problem. And adoption is always an option.

These are all grave matter against the sixth commandment.

You can read very well written church documents which explain Church teaching in great detail by clicking on these links:

Donum Vitae which is the original document written in 1987 after study of the new technology that created the first “test tube” baby, Louise Brown.

Dignitas Personae, written in 2008 as an update after study of the numerous advances and additional techniques developed in this area.

Turning a natural, beautiful process that is pleasing to God into a Dracula science experiment is disgusting; and severely undermines the nature and uniting aspect of sex.

Here’s a list of what the USCCB’s “Issues and Action” webpage includes for Reproductive Technology (link at the end):

“I want to have children with you.”
This simple, but meaningful phrase conveys in seven words the deep trust, love, and faith a Catholic married couple have in and for each other. But the desire for children is frequently thwarted by infertility. Life Giving Love, in an Age of Technology, in question-and-answer format, seeks to respond to current issues in reproductive technology-some that offer great hope, others that pose moral problems-and help Catholic couples fulfill their procreative potential and build a family.

Church Documents and Teachings
:black_medium_small_square:Life Giving Love in an Age of Technology, USCCB, November 17, 2009
:black_medium_small_square:Dignitas Personae and Related Information, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 12, 2008
:black_medium_small_square:Donum Vitae: Instruction on Respect for Human LifeSacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 22, 1987 (en español. . . )
:black_medium_small_square:Humanae Vitae: On the Regulation of Birth, Pope Paul VI, July 25, 1968 (en español. . . )

Articles and Publications
:black_medium_small_square:Life Matters: Reproductive Technology, 2011 Respect Life Program (en español)
Hope for Married Couples Who Want to Have a Child, by John Bruchalski, M.D., 2010 (en español)
:black_medium_small_square:Addressing Infertility with Compassion and Clarity, by Rev. J. Daniel Mindling, OFM Cap., 2009
:black_medium_small_square:Assisted Reproductive Technology and the Family, by Helen Alvaré, 2007 (en español)
:black_medium_small_square:Genetic Enhancement: Custom Kids and Chimeras by Marilyn Coors, Ph.D., 2005 (en español)
:black_medium_small_square:Assisted Reproductive Technologies are Anti-Woman by Marie Anderson, M.D., FACOG and John Bruchalski, M.D., 2004 (en español)
:black_medium_small_square:Begotten Not Made: A Catholic View of Reproductive Technology, by John Haas, Ph.D., S.T.L., 1998

Columns and Commentary
:black_medium_small_square:Our “Yes” to Life by Mary E. McClusky, Life Issues Forum, February 20, 2009 (en español)
:black_medium_small_square:First, Do No Harm, by Susan Wills, Life Issues Forum, March 9, 2007
:black_medium_small_square:Should the Government Force You to Help Kill Human Embryos?, Life Insight, August/September 2000
:black_medium_small_square:Science Without Conscience, Life Insight, February 1999
:black_medium_small_square:A New Assault on the Smallest Humans?, by Richard Doerflinger, Life Issues Forum, August 5, 1988

Testimony and Letters
:black_medium_small_square:Embryo Research and In Vitro Fertilization, Public Comment to NIH Human Embryo Research Panel, Richard Doerflinger, February 2, 1994
:black_medium_small_square:Alternative Reproductive Technologies: Implications for Children and Families, Testimony to House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, Richard Doerflinger, May 21, 1987

News Releases and Statements
:black_medium_small_square:Cardinal Rigali Criticizes Draft NIH Guidelines for Destructive Stem Cell Research
April 21, 2009
:black_medium_small_square:Bishops’ Spokesman Asks Reconsideration of In Vitro Fertilization Decision, July 15, 1988

Additional Resources
Please see our Catalog for our printed resources on Bioethics.
Please visit our Embryo/Fetal Research Issue page for related information.

Fact Sheets
:black_medium_small_square:Reproductive Technology (Evaluation & Treatment of Infertility) Guidelines
:black_medium_small_square:Can fertility awareness (NFP) help some couples conceive?
:black_medium_small_square:In Vitro Fertilization: The Human Cost


Church teaching on the matter seems counter-intuitive to those who have been characterizing her as “demanding that people have huge families” for a long time now. That’s because, of course, that’s never been TRUE.

The church teaches that marriage, sexual intimacy and babies are one single topic, not three separate topics from which one can pick and choose. When one actually does that, serious damage is done to the good God built into all three aspects.

So when the church says that it is sinful to use IVF or a surrogate mother, she’s not being mean, she’s being consistent. She recognizes that more harm will come to more people through these practices than will result from the couple’s ongoing infertility. We ALL recognize this reasoning in other areas. Nobody argues that it’s perfect moral for me to mug Bill Gates on the street because I can’t afford my kid’s college tuition, even though that really is a difficult issue that pains me (or soon will, anyways!).

Those are immoral.

Try adoption instead.

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