Surrogacy: Is It Scriptural and Ethical?

When a woman (the surrogate) decides to carry and give birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple (the intended parent/s), this is referred to as surrogacy. The first form of surrogacy mentioned in the Bible is that of Abraham and Hagar. Sarai resorts to a young slave woman because she believes she will be unable to bear children for Abraham. It demonstrated that the couple was unable to wait for the Lord’s promise. 

Many couples today are faced with this challenge as well. They discover ways to have biological children of their own, even if it means undergoing In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Every year, approximately 60,000 children are born as a result of donor conception in the United States. Now, some say having children is a right, but that parenting should be a privilege. I don’t understand how having children is a legal right differs from being a parent in any way. For me, this is a distinction without a difference. This is not in accordance with what the Bible says. As an alternative, allow me to clarify plainly that, according to the Scripture, having children is a privilege, not a right. It is the Lord who has blessed us with children, not we who have blessed ourselves with them. The Psalmist writes, 

Children are an inheritance from the LORD. They are a reward from him. – Psalm 127:3, God’s Word Translation

To tamper with how God creates humans in any way is to put yourself in the position of God. When a woman (the surrogate) decides to carry and give birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple (the supposed parent/s), this is referred to as surrogacy. There are two types of surrogacy which are the following:  

Traditional Surrogacy – The surrogate is also known as the biological mother of the baby she is responsible for carrying. Intrauterine insemination is used to fertilize her egg, which is fertilized with sperm from either the supposed father or a donor.

Gestational Surrogacy – The surrogate mother has no biological relationship with the child. In contrast, in vitro fertilization is used to form the embryo, which is made up of an egg from the supposed mother or a donor combined with sperm from the supposed father or a donor. The embryo is given to the surrogate mother for preservation after the egg has been fertilized in the laboratory.   

Based on the physical appearance and overall health of the mother, the average cost of surrogacy is between $90,000-$130,000. There are also some that are within reach, with prices ranging from $30,000 to $40,000 on average. Like the infant has been reduced to a commodity. What many people are unaware of is that many laboratories around the world are able to produce a large number of fertilized embryos through a series of attempts with a large number of sperm and egg cells. Prospective donors or couples were required to donate multiple sperm and egg cells because the process is costly to repeat. And if a couple choose to have only one child, they have at least four choices with the other fertilized embryos. 

  1. They could either destroy or terminate the embryo, which would be equivalent to murdering an unborn child in the embryonic stage.
  2. Like a laboratory mouse, they can donate the fertilized embryo for further research.
  3. They can give the fertilized embryo to any couple who is childless.
  4. They could continue to pay storage fees ranging from $400 to $1,000 per year.

I can’t imagine many parents treating these physically unformed babies inhumanely. Consider how many hundreds of thousands of unborn babies are killed every time these embryos are discarded. These people will undoubtedly be held accountable to our Creator someday. Aside from that, they do not understand the dilemma that a person will face when he or she discovers that he or she is a product of another woman or man with whom she is biologically connected but has no way of knowing. It is only by God’s grace that they can overcome this emotional hurt in their lives knowing that God is their Father. In my understanding of the Scripture, adoption could be a better option since you want an abandoned or rejected child to have his or her own family. But let me remind you once more that having children is a privilege, not a right. You pray to God, asking him to examine your motives for having children. Is this a result of insecurity or a desire for abandoned children to have a family of their own? This is what the Lord did to us when He adopted and accepted us into the beloved. As one theologian once said, “Childlessness is painful but it is not sinful” yet God’s grace is sufficient.I hope you will take time to pray about this decision before taking any action that may have an impact on the future of a child.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. – Ephesians 1:5-6

Other References:

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network

Perspectives on Surrogate Motherhood

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