Catholicism has misunderstood IVF & ART

I think there can be a lot more of God, husband, and wife working together to create a baby through Assisted Reproductive Technologies than the Catholic church gives credit.  When a couple is struggling to have a child, they really grasp how much the formation of a human being is the result of God's miraculous work. (Thus, why so many people get angry at God during the grief of infertility and why so many give God the glory when they do conceive after a time of barrenness.)  But when a couple, married or not, learn that the woman has conceived easily after intercourse, conception doesn't have to be viewed as miraculous. 

Some argue that IVF focuses on science in place of god.  The same argument could be made about natural, easy conception through intercourse: conception is just the result of the science of the sperm and egg meeting.

Talk to anyone working in the field of reproductive endocrinology and they will tell you that they can't make a baby, only God can.  And they are not saying this just to appease the religious folks out there, but they truly understand from experience that science alone cannot make a baby.

And when the Catholic church is concerned about conception happening in a petri dish without the procreative act of a married couple, the Church is really missing the mark by not acknowledging what is happening between the married couple.  That married couple has shared more intimacy of thought, vulnerability, and theology than most couples who procreate directly through intercourse.  And it isn't that they haven't had sex.  This couple most likely has a greater understanding of sex as a procreative act and are more so motivated to have intercourse for the purpose of procreation than the couple who easily conceive. 

Regarding the adoption of snowflake babies - cryopreserved embryos.  The Catholic church should be overjoyed to encourage its members (both the fertile and infertile) to adopt in this way.  Adopting these babies isn't going to create a demand for more babies to be frozen.  And interestingly these babies as they are being formed by God in their mother's womb are biologically being designed to somehow match their adoptive parents.  The medical profession is very fascinated by this process and is trying to figure it out.  It isn't just the DNA given to you in conception that forms you, but it is also the womb that you are carried in that plays a role in who you become.  Again, a miracle!

I am not Catholic, thus I do not know the Catholic church's full position or reasoning on IVF, but I do know that children "conceived" through IVF are the result of God's co-creative act with a husband and a wife.  God has raised up people in the medical field who help overcome the obstacles so that there is a chance this co-creative act might be successful. Instead of the Catholic Church scrutinizing these men and women, the Church should applauded them for entering a difficult field of medicine, a field where doubt and faith converge with compassion and hope.  Someday, I suspect that one of these people will be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church and I hope to get to see it in my lifetime.


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