Embryo Adoption Revisited

ChelseaPro Life2 Comments

ivf-embryo.jpgLast year I brought up the debate over the ethics of embryo adoption in the Catholic Church. Something that I was not even aware was a debate at all. For most people, if the choice is between destroying these embryos and giving them a chance to be born and live regular lives, this seems pretty cut and dried. But, as Catholics, we know there is more to consider.

Over at Ignitum Today, Leah Jacobson examines the debate through the eyes of a “New Feminist”:

As a New Feminist I subscribe to the belief that God created women’s bodies to cooperate with the Divine in the very natural physical acts of nourishing new human life through conceiving, gestating, and lactating for the benefit of our offspring. Suppressing or altering these natural female abilities for matters of convenience is unethical in that it violates the natural order and diminishes the great contribution of women to our world. So it would seem that based upon these preliminary tenants of New Feminism that the natural process of reproduction is grossly altered in creating these embryos, thus the resulting practice of embryo adoption is immoral.

However, New Feminism also emphasizes the contribution of women as “mothers of humanity”. We see motherhood, either physical or spiritual, as the ultimate fulfillment of woman’s purpose. Our bodies were made to mother; as were our spirits created to be in tune to those in need. No matter where a woman is called vocationally (the home, the office, the convent), she is equivocally called to infuse her environment with her feminine gifts. She is called to bring the unconditional love, acceptance, and hospitality towards others that physical mothers offer their own children.

Read the whole thing.

There is still no official teaching on embryo adoption from the Catholic Church, so the debate goes on. Last year Dr. Gerard Nadal tackled the debate from a pro-adoption stance in three parts:

Part I: A Case for Embryo Adoption
Part II: Open or Shut by Rome?
Part III: Violence Against Conjugal Union?

2 Comments on “Embryo Adoption Revisited”

  1. ? I thought paragraph 19 in Dignitas Personae was pretty clear…

    “The proposal that these embryos could be put at the disposal of infertile couples as a treatment for infertility is not ethically acceptable for the same reasons which make artificial heterologous procreation illicit as well as any form of surrogate motherhood;[38] this practice would also lead to other problems of a medical, psychological and legal nature.

    “It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of “prenatal adoption”. This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above.

    “All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved. Therefore John Paul II made an “appeal to the conscience of the world’s scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of ‘frozen’ embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons”.[39]”

  2. Pretty clear-cut to me. Adopt the embryos, they have a chance to live. “Discard” them or “use them for research,” they die. Adoption it is. Worry about the theological issues later.

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