Friday, February 26, 2010

Is The Use Of "Donor" Gametes Biblically Permissible?

Something I see pretty frequently when people ask the question online if it's ok for Christians (or anyone for that matter) to use a sperm donor to conceive a baby is a terribly inaccurate use of Scripture to support an affirmative answer.  "Go forth and multiply!" and "Children are a blessing from the Lord!" seem to be the standard fare as an answer.  Those two verses are taken completely out of context when given as a prescriptive answer in this situation.  Context is so important to knowing what a verse actually says and means.*

So I'm trying to figure it out - just where does God stand on this issue of introducing a third party into the one-flesh relationship of marriage?  My feeling is that it is not a "God sanctioned" way to create a child, however I know my feelings are no basis for truth since feelings change and truth does not, by it's very definition.  I do not feel that it is on the same level as adultry since there is no physical relationship involved in the use of a donor (at least in mainstream cases...I guess there's always the exception to the rule.)  But I just don't see God giving loopholes in marriage: ie., my spouse can't give me a child, so I'll get someone else to give me a child.  And doesn't it seem akward to know that a wife is having another man's baby?  Is God cool with that?

I am praying for wisdom.

*There is a story about the man who decided to seek guidance from God by opening the Bible at random and sticking a pin in the page, and trusting that the words where the pin stuck indicated God's will for him.

The pin landed in the latter part of Matthew 27:5, describing the actions of Judas Iscariot: "he went and hanged himself."

Not satisfied with the result, the man tried again, and this time the pin landed at the end of Luke 10:37: "You go, and do likewise."


  1. Steph,

    This is totally a personal preference. For us, the decision was embryo adoption. But our choice is not right for everyone. God led us both down this road instead of using donor egg or sperm. We know God will also lead you down the right road.

    Blessings on your journey.

    2 Jens

  2. I believe in the case of married partners, it is akin to adultery. I don't see the difference between donor sperm, thatn telling our husband "Honey, I've thought of the perfect solution! I'll conceive by having sex with the mailman!"
    The physical aspect of adultury, i think, pales in comparison to the reproductive aspect.

  3. I disagree with the prior post by anonymous, as sperm and gamete donation do not involve having sex. It's a very sterile and medical procedure.

  4. As the embryo was already created and otherwise destined to be destroyed, how can it be wrong to use it for its real purpose and create a child who will be part of a loving family?

  5. Anon,
    Are you referring to the first comment above? Embryos created for IVF should be part of a loving family - and if that means adoption, then so be it. I do actually take issue with IVF, too, because in general, it creates many embryos in hopes that one will "take" - this doesn't seem ethical; creating life knowing that most of them will die. But yes, placing an embryo with a family is much better than descruction!