My sister-in-law and her husband (my husband’s brother), Katie and Josh, were married in The Church 8 years ago. Three years ago they told us that they’d been trying for a pregnancy for two years without success, and were going to be getting medical workups to see if there was a fixable problem. Since that time, I’ve had two successful pregnancies (for a total of three children.) I know they had always been happy for our blessings, and they are wonderful aunt/uncle to our kids, but we’ve had to be very sensitive around them because seeing our family grow was tough for them. Katie cried at the brunch my girlfriends held for me before my last child was born. It was very sad and I know that the infertility broke her heart and made it hard for her to fully share in our joy, even though she did try.
I knew they were getting medical testing done and still trying to create a family, but I didn’t have a ton of information because they did not offer it and I didn’t want to pry. In September, we learned the wonderful news that Katie and Josh were expecting - twins! We were thrilled for them! The twins were born in February and they are beautiful babies. When they were a couple of weeks old, I went to meet the newborns and gushed over how precious they were. Katie, then, said to me, “And to think - if we followed Church doctrine they wouldn’t be here. How dare anyone say that I was wrong to have these babies and that they should not have been born. It makes me sick that anyone thinks they can tell infertile women not to try to have a baby. They just have no idea how painful and heartbreaking it is to long for a child and be unable to conceive one.” Katie went on to tell me that she and her husband used IVF to become pregnant after learning that their particular medical conditions made it impossible to conceive in the typical way.
I am very torn. The babies are perfect and beautiful and Katie and Josh are loving, intelligent, kind people. They are head over heels about their new son and daughter - and our entire family is thrilled that they have started a family. Having said that, I know that I cannot agree with the way these babies were conceived and that it is wrong to achieve a pregnancy via IVF. Still, I can’t say that those babies, “Shouldn’t have been conceived” or were “Conceived immorally” or “Shouldn’t even be here.” Ultimately, only God can grant a couple the blessing of children and only God can grant each person a soul. So, I have to believe that God was somehow involved in the conception of these two sweet babies.
How can I reconcile my faith in the One True Church and my belief that IVF is wrong with the fact that I am overjoyed to be an aunt to these two beautiful little babies? How can I look at these children and say that they should not have been conceived? I am really struggling with trying to get this straight in my mind, but it’s bothering me a lot. I know the babies are blameless, but were Katie and Josh morally wrong to have them in the first place?
Thank you in advance for your help and support!