Would the Church approve...?


#1

Hi everyone,
This week saw a happy ‘reunion’ with my first cousin, after a series of unfortunate events saw her and her father lose touch with us. She has been searching for us and we for her, and after 30 years, it has finally happened !
In getting to know each other again, I have learned that she is unable to have children as she is infertile. Would the Church approve me donating an egg / eggs, so as to enable my cousin to have and raise a child of her own?

**Peace and love to all :slight_smile: **


#2

No. From the Catechism:

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”


#3

Thank you for the reply, urquhart; I had a feeling it may be a negative response, but just wanted to make sure, before I suggested it to her.
Thanks again.


Peace to you and your loved ones.:slight_smile:


#4

You are welcome, and God bless you.


#5

[quote=Nun_ofthe_Above]Hi everyone,
This week saw a happy ‘reunion’ with my first cousin, after a series of unfortunate events saw her and her father lose touch with us. She has been searching for us and we for her, and after 30 years, it has finally happened !
In getting to know each other again, I have learned that she is unable to have children as she is infertile. Would the Church approve me donating an egg / eggs, so as to enable my cousin to have and raise a child of her own?

**Peace and love to all :slight_smile: **
[/quote]

She would not be having and raising a child of her own. She would be having your child. Actually you and her husbands child!


#6

[quote=urquhart]No. From the Catechism:

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. …
[/quote]

Hmmm
I was unaware of this of this position. Even for a case where the couple is married and the donors are known?
It seems that it could be regarded as an act of charity. Especially with family members where there is a lot of common genetic material.

I would think that objection would be that multiple fertilized eggs are created and that it is not uncommon to “dispose” of the extras.


#7

[quote=Steve Andersen]Hmmm
I was unaware of this of this position. Even for a case where the couple is married and the donors are known?
It seems that it could be regarded as an act of charity. Especially with family members where there is a lot of common genetic material.

I would think that objection would be that multiple fertilized eggs are created and that it is not uncommon to “dispose” of the extras.
[/quote]

Steve,

The Church’s teaching makes a lot more sense when you view it in the context of the marital act between a husband and wife being an image or “foreshadowing” of the relationship between Christ and the Church in Heaven, with the procreation of children being the natural result (outgrowth?) of that activity. Any action that deliberately distorts that image is sinful; in this case, the creation of a baby by an unnatural process is sinful.

In this case, the parties involved would be doing it as an act of charity, I am sure, and their intentions are certainly the best, but that would not make the deed itself morally right. History is full of people doing dreadful things with the best of intentions.

  • Liberian

#8

[quote=Liberian]… Any action that deliberately distorts that image is sinful; in this case, the creation of a baby by an unnatural process is sinful…
[/quote]

But that is not what the reference above by urquhart says.
It appears to say that artificial means using the husband and wife’s gametes (homologous artificial insemination) are ok

It appears to object to heterologous artificial insemination on two grounds (1) the right of the child to know its parents…which is solvable
And
(2) The “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.” which is a “right” I had never heard of. Surely we’re not against adoption. And in this particular case it would be the husband’s sperm and the wives uterus so it seems that they both would be deeply involved in the biological process.

Shrug


#9

[quote=urquhart]No. From the Catechism:

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”
[/quote]

What if a woman donated an ovary to be transplanted to a near realtive? If it worked the recipient could then produce her “own” eggs though they would genetically be the donor’s, BUT it wouldn’t entail any dissocialtion of the marital relationship.


#10

Found this link:
loras.edu/~CatholicHE/Arch/Sexuality/ART1.html
Seems pretty orthodox:


**
Using sperm or ova from a person outside the marriage to conceive a child is never permissible. **

                                                                                                                        [size=2]     First of all, the use of donor sperm or ova violates the *unity of the marriage*. (4)  When a man and a woman marry, they give themselves exclusively to each other.  The selves they give are sexual and procreative beings.  A husband and wife violate their marital commitment if they give themselves to another in sexual union.  Similarly, they dishonor their marital covenant if they choose to exercise their procreative powers with someone other than their spouse. (5)   

  Second, the use of donor sperm or ova can seriously *disrupt and confuse family relationships* *for the child. *(6) For example, the sister or sister-in-law of the wife could donate ova, with that woman  subsequently being both the mother of the child from a biological point of view and the aunt of the child in terms of social relationships.  Or again, it is possible for a daughter to donate ova to her own mother so that her mother may have another child later in life.   In this case, the daughter would be the child's mother biologically and the child's sister in terms of social relationships.  The mother would be the child's grandmother from a biological point of view and the child's mother in terms  of social relationships.   

  Similarly, sperm might be donated by a brother or brother-in-law of the husband, with that man  subsequently being the child's father from a biological point of view and the child's uncle in terms of social relationships.  Further, it is not inconceivable that a father donate sperm to his biological son, so that he would be both the child's father biologically and his/her grandfather in terms of social relationships.  Indeed, since sperm can be successfully frozen, a child could be conceived using sperm taken from a man who has already died.   

  These examples illustrate the rupture between biological parenthood and responsibility for upbringing that current reproductive technologies have made a possibility with the use of donor sperm or ova.  Such a confusion of  relationships is not fair to the child because it can adversely affect the child�s personal identity and relationships within the family. 

[/size] Other subjects addressed:
**3) The conception of a child must be brought about as the result of an act of sexual intercourse between spouses. The unitive and procreative aspects of the conjugal act should not be separated. Fertilization should not occur as the direct result of a technical process which substitutes for the personal act of sexual intercourse between spouses.
**

4) The use by spouses of technological methods in reproduction is not entirely precluded, but such methods must meet the following condition to be permissible: the method must * facilitate* the natural act of sexual intercourse or assist that act to achieve its objective of conceiving a child once it has been naturally performed.

5) Techniques of assisted reproduction may not be used which involve the deliberate destruction or wastage of human embryos.

COUNSELING INFERTILE COUPLES


#11

[quote=urquhart]No. From the Catechism:

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”
[/quote]

This honestly makes no sense at all. Adoption is encouraged, and that is obviously not the biological child of the couple. Plus, we have the famous case of Mary and Joseph. Jesus was Mary’s son, but not Joseph’s. And yet he still raised Jesus as his own son.

In Christ,
Rand


#12

[quote=Steve Andersen]But that is not what the reference above by urquhart says.
It appears to say that artificial means using the husband and wife’s gametes (homologous artificial insemination) are ok
[/quote]

Steve,

Actually it is saying that heterologous means are not OK; while this may imply that homologous means are OK, it is not explicitly saying this.

It appears to object to heterologous artificial insemination on two grounds (1) the right of the child to know its parents…which is solvable
And
(2) The “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.” which is a “right” I had never heard of. Surely we’re not against adoption. And in this particular case it would be the husband’s sperm and the wives uterus so it seems that they both would be deeply involved in the biological process.

Shrug

No, we’re definitely not against adoption. But adoption is different from procreation, and what the thread is about is procreation.

My guess is that our difference comes over the interpretation of “through each other.” I would submit to you that it’s a good bit more than just being “deeply involved.”

Judging from your final “shrug,” I daresay we’ve said about all on this subject that should be said here. Nun_ofThe_Above’s question has been answered and I was trying to shed a bit of light on the answer.

  • Liberian

#13

[quote=didymus]What if a woman donated an ovary to be transplanted to a near realtive? If it worked the recipient could then produce her “own” eggs though they would genetically be the donor’s, BUT it wouldn’t entail any dissocialtion of the marital relationship.
[/quote]

There was a very recent news report that said that this actually had been sucessful. I am not sure if it was a whole ovary or just a portion.


#14

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies. They have provided some very interesting reading.

I admit I am disappointed to a degree, but if the Church dictates this, then who am I to argue?! I just thought as we were very closely related and shared alot of DNA, the Church may allow this, but nevermind.
I did read something…I will have to find the site… and it stated that there was a practice whereby the egg could be planted then using a special sheath which had been perforated, the couple participate in the marital act, then the sheath was washed and the sperm was then used to fertilize the egg…or something along these lines…it is /was an approved Catholic practice, apparently, yet widely unknown.


Love and Peace to all. :slight_smile:


#15

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