From USA Today, here’s an interesting review of several different fertility treatments, including adoption, and how those treatments are regarded by some of the more commonly known religious groups in the country. Certainly as reproductive technology continues to advance its abilities to assist couples in their efforts to build a family, the issues of ethics and morality become more involved and nuanced, inside and outside faith communities.
Based on a Pew Research Study from 2014, “70.6% of Americans identified as Christian, and 5.9% claimed non-Christian faiths.” Roughly 30% of Americans consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) to be “morally acceptable,” according to another Pew Research Study from 2013. However, the particular circumstances of the IVF treatments, for example, use of donor sperm or eggs, can be quite controversial, especially in religious communities.
Among the methods discussed: using donor sperm and/or egg, surrogacy, adoption and even use of sperm from deceased donors. The religious / faith groups surveyed for the article included Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, Sunni Muslims, and Jews. The intricacies of each group’s approval or denial of the treatments was quite interesting to read. We imagine that the broad brush strokes presented here are not fully representative of the more individual practices within the represented faith groups. As the science surrounding IVF expands and advances, no doubt so must the conversations in these communities.
The answers aren’t easy or clear cut, but in their efforts to stay abreast of current science and remain relevant to their members, religious groups of all kinds will likely have more questions to answer. As R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said, “Some of these things, there’s not a clear yes or a clear no. The further you get from the conjugal union of marriage, the more problematic it becomes.”
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