Is Embryo Adoption Moral?

By pintswaquinas January 30, 2024

Many pro-life problems have clear answers. Abortion kills an innocent child; therefore, it is wrong. In vitro fertilization tries to make babies without sex, which is unethical.

But what about embryo adoption? This one is tough, and we don’t have clear answers at this time. On the one hand, the embryos are living human beings with dignity. However, they were created by immoral means. There’s a reason the baby factory in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” sends shivers down our spines. We instinctively react with horror at the thought of humans being manufactured outside of the sexual act.

Here are some reasons for and against embryo adoption.

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Embryo adoption may be moral because the sin of embryo manufacture is over.
Rape is a sin, but the child that comes from it possesses full human dignity. The same is true of embryonic humans created in vitro. The immorality of their creation doesn’t detract from their humanity. It seems reasonable to allow them the chance to develop in a womb.

It may be immoral because the woman prevents conception of her own children for nine months.
When an embryo is placed inside a woman, that woman closes herself off to the creation of new life for a time. Couples are supposed to keep themselves open to life created through sex. Their own children take priority over someone else’s child.

It may be moral for infertile couples.
Since the couple can’t have their own children, the problems listed above don’t apply. This pertains only to cases where the man is infertile, as a woman’s infertility could affect her body’s ability to preserve the adopted embryo.

It may give the appearance of legitimizing the manufacturing of embryos.
Some couples avoid embryo adoption because they don’t want to appear to legitimize this act. Of course, even if embryo adoption is moral, no one is compelled by the moral law to adopt embryos.

We hope and pray that the Church offers more guidance on this issue in the near future. There are generous couples wanting to adopt these precious children in their earliest stages. But as we can see, many factors are involved. We’ll look to Christ’s Bride for direction rather than make a final judgment ourselves.


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