ivf - smallWritten by: Theresa Gilbert

I’ve discussed in vitro fertilization in previous posts (here and here). So why not continue? It’s certainly not an issue that will go away anytime soon.

This time I’d like to focus on the countless frozen embryos as a result of in vitro fertilization and the debate over whether or not adopting them is right. A friend posted this link on Facebook that I was instantly intrigued to read.

“The Catholic Case for Embryo Adoption” by Gerard Nadal is one of the many contributions to this discussion. Nadal invites us all to read, and I would agree, Dignitas Personae put together by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

When grappling with this issue I’ve considered this question: if these were countless two-year olds frozen, would we not support unfreezing them and allowing couples to adopt?

The twist, of course, is that it’s not just a matter of unfreezing the human embryos, but using in vitro fertilization to implant them into an adoptive mother’s womb – an act that is strictly prohibited by the Catholic Church.

Nadal shares, “I think there is a great distinction to be made between the technology leading up to the creation of a new human being, and the technology employed to sustain those new human beings. The former is always gravely and intrinsically evil. I’m not so certain about the latter.”

Though the ideal is that all human life is created within a loving marital embrace, the reality is that God creates human life outside of that ideal – rape, incest, pre-marital sex, and in vitro fertilization.

Nadal closes, “Jesus admonished the Pharisees when they took exception to His disciples picking grain and eating it on the Sabbath. He also admonished them about the lawfulness of saving life on the Sabbath, even if it meant breaking the law to do so. “Who among you would not pull his sheep out of a hole to save it on the Sabbath?”

We are dealing with much more than sheep here.

If God freely creates the soul in the midst of such human evil, do we not have an imperative to honor that creative act by facilitating the child’s development through implantation and adoption?”

Nadal thinks we do. At this point in my delving into this topic, I’d have to agree. What do you think?

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