Q. 1. What is the Catholic teaching on the matter of vitro fertilization?
A. 1. On the matter of vitro fertilization, the Catholic Church teaches through its Catechism:
# 2373 "Sacred Scripture and the Church's traditional practice see in large families a sign of God's blessing and the parents' generosity."
# 2374 "Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. "What will you give me," asks Abraham of God, "for I continue childless?"164 And Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!""
# 1654 "Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless have a conjugal life full of meaning, in both human and Christian terms. Their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice. "# 2375 "Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged, on condition that it is placed "at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God.""
# 2293 "Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man's dominion over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves however they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress. Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits. "# 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."
# 2377 "Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that "entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children." "Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union... Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.""
# 2378 "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.""
# 2379 "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."
In simple words,
• IVF (in vitro fertilization) makes the child a commodity that is produced in a laboratory.
• It makes the doctors, the technicians, and even business people part of the conception process.
• The sperm used is usually obtained by masturbation, which the Church teaches is immoral.
• The sperm or the eggs used in the IVF process, due to infertility, may not come from the couple desiring the child.
• Records show that most of the embryos conceived, which the Church holds should be respected as new human lives, die. Some are frozen indefinitely for later implantation. Others are used for research or are discarded.
• Finally, children conceived through IVF also have a greater incidence of birth defects.
The aforementioned are sufficient reasons to condemn any form of vitro fertilization that oppose the sacredness and intimacy of marriage between a man and a woman.