What do I tell my brother about Artificial Insemination?


Here’s the deal. I found out from my mother today that my brother and his wife (they are in their early 40’s) are attempting artificial ins. soon. I’m looking for some advice here. Is there anything I can/should say since I’m not even supposed to know this info? Any help would be greatly appreciated


That its wrong!
That it goes against God’s will.
Children are a gift not a “right”

I mean there is alot you can tell them but if your not supposed to know I dont know how you can?!?!
Why didnt your mom say anything to them??


Could you break the ice by telling them you think it’s wonderful they’d like to welcome children into their marriage? Maybe then see if they are open to hearing you opions/advice? Are they catholic? Do they have any other children? Would they be open to adoption?


I wonder if they ever thought it might be God’s will to be married without children, for one reason or another. They might think twice when the realization comes to mind that they are effectively dumping the cross that God has chosen for them.

Personally…I hate the thought of going against God’s will


This is wierd but I never thought about it until now…

I work with this guy. He and his wife had a son, they kept trying and trying for another one, The son was about 8 and they were desperate, so they started going to the doctors and everything and finally settled on In Vetro fertilization. They ended up with boy/girl twins. The twins were 2 years old and then whoops, she’s pregnant again. They were so happy but suprised that it was so hard for them to get pregnant the second time but then they unexpectedly got a 4th child. The new baby has down’s syndrome.

Do you think that was God’s way of slapping them for doing in vitro?

They aren’t Catholic but the guy and his wife are very strong Christians. He’s a really good guy.


You can let him know that non-ovulatory stimulated insemination is about 4% success rate per cycle and that hyper-stimulated ovulation through drugs combined with insemination is only successful about 18% of the time per cycle (not to mention that drugs that cause hyperstimulation can be dangerous to the woman causing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). Also, if its the sperm of the brother that is the problem, chances are that fertilization still will not occur. Basically they will be spending tons of money of procedures that are not typically successful. Instead, the Pope Paul VI Institue www.popepaulvi.com has developed Naprotechnology that is harmony with Church teaching as is effective 40-80% of the time depending on various disease factors causing infertility. Even if they did not get pregnant, it might be reassuring to treat the underlying causes of the infertility if possible, which is something they probably will not get with artificial insemination. More effective, less expensive, treats underlying diseases when possible, and in line with the Church’s teachings on the dignity of conception through the marital act… those are pretty good reasons to me why they should reconsider. Hope that helps!
PS: The Institute helps many couples all over the U.S so please do not discount them because they do not live in Omaha where it is locateed.


No real man will ask his wife to be a walking petri dish.


I wouldnt look at a downs syndrome child as a punishment no matter what they may have done! A cross sure, but a punishment NEVER!:frowning:


what happens if it is the wife that wants to be the walking petri dish?


Keep your opinions and any advice to yourself.

Your mother was totally out of line to breach your brother and SIL’s confidence (though they were probably foolish to confide in her if they wanted to keep this private).

They do not need your blessing, approval, agreement or permission to explore their reproductive choices. It is none of your business UNLESS they seek you out and ASK for your opinion/advice–which they obviously have not done.


This is a revolting suggestion. :mad: Please reconsider your position.


Then the husband needs to help the wife have more respect for herself than that.

Personally, I would rather conceive by my husband who loves me than by some kind of cold, indifferent medical device. Adoption is much better. In that situation, the couple still gets to work together to have a child in the family and the child gets the benefit of having a family. I’ll take any warm, loving process over an uncomfortable series of medical appointments any time.

And yes, adoption is often difficult and painful, but, unless I’m mistaken, so is childbirth…


Pray for them…and keep in mind that artificial insemination is not always immoral. If the act is one of assisting the natural conjugal act it can be done morally.


Island Oak, I’m very sorry if I offended you. I’m an idiot and I worded that in a very inappropriate way. Sorry. :frowning:


What would he say if his wife went off and had an affair and got pregnant-surley this amounts to the same thing, albeit in a more technical way.

Redtech- I have a son with Down’s syndrome, and he is the joy of our lives. He is a fantastic human being! God is great for choosing us to be his parents.


Please see this, I do hope and pray it will help you.


Also, this a reply that I got from Pope Paul VI in Nebraska

From: Pope Paul VI Institute [mailto:nurses@popepaulvi.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:04 PM
To: Pinto-D’Mello, Gwyn
Subject: Fw: question regarding fertility clinics in Canada
Importance: High

Dear Gwyn,
Thank you for your email. There are Fertility Care Centers in Toronto. Here is the web site, fertilitycare.org/dir.html. Artificial insemination is not in line with the Catholic Faith. I would really recommend contacting one of the Fertility Care Centers and starting the Creighton Model charting. Then maybe they could recommend a doctor locally you could see. I know Dr. Hilgers would be happy to treat you also. I attached a letter that explains how to send information here to him for his input. But, being from Canada I know the cost of his recommendations would be an out of pocket expense for you. I know that this looks like the longer route to a baby, but it would hopefully help with the medical concerns by correcting what is wrong rather than just bypassing or masking the problem. I wish you the best.

Good luck and God Bless,
Ann, RN

Also, I contacted a clinic from the above sights and found may health issues that I would never have had I not looked in to what was acceptable. Hopefully we can have another child in the next couple years.

Praying for you and your family.



You should send this quote below to the Pope Paul VI Institute. This seems to be a common misconception (no pun intended) among pro-lifers. Perhaps they were not aware that artificial insemination (note: this is not the same as in vitro) can be morally done as noted here in Donum Vitae by (then) Cardinal Ratzinger:

Homologous artificial insemination within marriage cannot be admitted except for those cases in which the technical means is not a substitute for the conjugal act but serves to facilitate and to help so that the act attains its natural purpose.

The teaching of the Magisterium on this point has already been stated.[51] This teaching is not just an expression of particular historical circumstances but is based on the Church’s doctrine concerning the connection between the conjugal union and procreation and on a consideration of the personal nature of the conjugal act and of a human procreation. “In its natural structure, the conjugal act is a personal action, a simultaneous and immediate cooperation on the part of the husband and wife, which by the very nature of the agents and the proper nature of the act is the expression of the mutual gift which, according to the words of Scripture, brings about union ‘in one flesh.’”[52] Thus moral conscience “does not necessarily proscribe the use of certain artificial means destined solely either to the facilitating of the natural act or to insuring that the natural act normally performed achieves its proper end.” [53] If the technical means facilitates the conjugal act or helps it to reach its natural objectives, it can be morally acceptable. If, on the other hand, the procedure were to replace the conjugal act, it is morally illicit.



Are you implying that a Down’s child is a punishment, and not a gift? I will assume you misspoke.


This is probably NOT what you want to hear…

Tell them NOTHING. Do not say anything that could betray your mother’s trust in confiding in you or anything that could be mistaken as criticism from your brother. Just about everything you say could be taken as criticism from someone dealing with the PAIN of infertililty. If they want your opinion, they will ask. Infertility is painful enough without unsolicited advice. Unless they live under a rock, they know the Church’s teaching. You don’t have to tell them.

What they need from their family is love and support. Pray for them. If the fact that they are “trying” is everyone’s knowledge, show them that you care and are interested. Judging them is God’s job.

Here is a list of patron saints for conception: catholic-forum.com/Saints/pst00686.htm

Every conception, either natural or artificial, is in God’s hands. Every child, regardless of how he was conceived, is a gift from God. Especially the special needs children!



That is an absolutely awful thing to say!

As to the OP…you should say NOTHING. It isn’t any of your business.


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