What would you do if your wife was infertile?


Rob Banks said:
What is the opinion of forum members/what is the Christian view on "in vitro" fertilization (IVF)?

I am personally against it because they fertilize 10 or 15 eggs at a time and then a doctor selects the "healthiest" embryo and all the rest are killed. This is wrong on so many levels, from the killing of human embryos to the doctor "playing God" and choosing who will live and die.

Also, I believe that men's and women's bodies have natural ways to ensure that the strongest sperm fertilizes the strongest egg. With IVF, this gets negated. The sperm fertilizing the egg may not be the strongest.

But what if this was your only option? What if your wife could not get pregnant the natural way (or she was too old)? Would you consider IVF?

EDIT: I see that the health and financial aspects of IVF were discussed earlier in this thread. However, no one talked about the moral/ethical aspects that I outlined above.
When in doubt, the Catechism has your back.


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."
tl;dr - no

Additionally, any procedure that kills embryos as you mention is gravely immoral.

Rob Banks

↑ Agreed.

So what would you suggest to couples who can only conceive through IVF?

Should they break up/divorce? Should they stay married and accept childlessness?

What about cases where a man's wife is infertile and he wants to conceive a child through another woman?

Maybe in Biblical times a man who could not conceive a child with his wife would take a mistress or find a second wife.

Obviously, in this day and age, the option for the man to find another woman (other than his wife) and impregnate her naturally (sexually) is not an option.

Also, if you pay for IVF treatments, I wonder if it's possible to request that they only fertilize one embryo, that way none are killed. Obviously this would probably cause it to take a lot longer to have a successful pregnancy (and it would probably be more expensive). Nevertheless, if you're paying for the treatment, I wonder if it would be possible to make this request. Or would they turn you down?