Where to I begin to understand the Church's teaching on fertility?

My husband and I are faced with infertility. It’s been easy to find information about the various assisted reproductive technologies available, but challenging to find information about Catholic teaching. I read guidelines posted on the USCCB website, which was helpful. However, we are looking to understand the why. Can you offer insight and perhaps suggest books for us to read?

With Love in Christ,

Three resources I’d recommend are the Couple to Couple League, the Pope Paul VI Institute, and the National Catholic Bioethics Center. These organizations should be able to direct you and your husband to information on the Church’s teaching about infertility. In the meantime, here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say:

A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The “supreme gift of marriage” is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged “right to a child” would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right “to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,” and “the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception” (CCC 2378).

The gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others (CCC 2379).

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