Surrogacy issue at work


Last Friday, I was made to teach RE (I’m an English teacher and not trained to teach RE). The subject was surrogacy. The materials we were provided with offered pupils the option to fill in the blanks to questions like, “Most Christians would think God would be nice/mean to people helping others to have a baby.” The materials were promoting surrogacy as an acceptable way to have children.

I tried, my best as far as I could, to teach my pupils that actually, surrogacy is not okay in the eyes of God, for the reasons we all understand, here. But I’m not sure I convinced all of the pupils. I know I wasn’t the best prepared, I felt anxious about it all week.

Do I go to confession? Did I commit a sin?

Thanks for reading. Any feedback/advice would be gratefully received.


I think I would definitely speak to the Priest and ask WHO picked these materials and WHY. You should NOT have been put in that situation unless properly prepared.

Take it to Confession if you feel you need to but I would DEFINITLEY talk to the Priest about all of this.


Is this a Catholic school?


No, state school in England.


If I’m honest, it looked like several issues/items pulled off the Internet at random and put together in the guise of a ‘lesson.’


Are the materials CofE if it is a state run school? Anglicans might accept surrogacy. Doesn’t mean it 's good for a Catholic to teach it.


You shared your opinion with the children, you took care of them and made sure they learned about surrogacy and what it means. I don’t think you’ve sinned at all.


OH THAT IS JUST WRONG! If they weren’t prepared for a substitute to fill in then they could have reviewed things already covered. I would NOT be happy and I’d speak up for being put in that position.


I don’t know - I had nothing to do with them being put together. There were all sorts of things included - IVF/Gay parents etc. I was just… so unhappy about it. I was told to “just get through it” at one point.


It will have been a cover lesson so it’s work set by someone else and the OP has been asked to deliver it as is. She’s actually gone beyond what is required to try and share a catholic input so I think that’s fantastic what she’s done


C of E then. Not Catholic.


We were made to teach the lesson in our form groups - the teacher who is responsible taught her form, and the rest of the school taught theirs - each were given the same materials but no direction on how to use them… I tried my best, included the list of sins in the teaching, but I don’t think this isn’t a sin?


The school doesn’t have any faith attached to it. Just meeting the legal requirement to ‘teach’ RE in secondary school.


Thank you, that means a lot and reassures me, somewhat.


I live in the UK so I get the whole school/cover work issue. I’m also not Catholic so feel free to take my advice with a pinch of salt.

I think in your shoes what I would have done is say something along the lines of “although Anglicans teach that surrogacy is okay, that’s not true of all Christian beliefs. Catholics think that it isn’t, and this is why”. I don’t think I would have tried to convince them, just told them the different viewpoints and let them come to their own conclusions.

In terms of sin, I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong.


I had massive issues with the section that said “most Christians.” Whoever designed the work didn’t stop to consider that Catholics are the largest number of Christians… There are so many issues I have with this, but what I wonder is should I have flat out refused to teach it?


C of E is the state religion in England, as you probably know. The materials are more than likely representative of their views on reproductive matters. IVF/ Surrogacy are not acceptable in the Catholic Church, I believe. Don’t get me wrong. I have no criticism of you in this matter. You did your best under strained circumstances.
From the CCC.
“Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children. Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.”


I did put something up like that on the board - if I could turn back time I think I would have made a greater stand for my beliefs and refused. I wonder if this isn’t another sin?
I realise I may be over-thinking this, but this is the first time I’ve come across something like this in my 5 years of teaching.


OK this makes a big difference and answers a lot of questions. This is a very “sticky” situation for throwing things out there for this school to ask their teacher’s to teach. NOT a good way to go about doing things.


You’re totally right… hence my dilemma and unease. What would you do if you were in my situation now, after the fact has occurred?

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