The Catholic Church has long condemned in vitro fertilization. They note several conflicts with their core beliefs. First, that babies are created outside the act of marriage, considered sacred. Second, they take issue with the fact that more embryos are created than are used in IVF, leaving nearly 600,000 unused embryos in frozen storage in the United States. So shouldn’t embryo adoption be a valid option for Catholic families looking for alternative family building methods? The Church hasn’t issued a definitive stance on the issue. The closest they’ve come is to issue a statement in 2008 calling the creation and freezing of hundreds of thousands of embryos an “injustice.” That’s left many Catholic families in conflict about whether or not they should pursue this fertility solution.
However, Andrea Alexander decided it was the right choice for her family. Described as a “pro-choice, conservative Catholic,” Alexander has had three children through embryo adoption. She’s encouraging other Catholic families to consider the option as well, and counsels other women about the choice. She hopes officials within the Catholic church will educate themselves on the family building method so they can counsel couples within the Catholic Church more effectively.
For now, the church remains divided on the issue of embryo adoption but more and more Catholic families are equating the method to domestic adoption, an option openly embraced by the Catholic community. They see it as a solution to the IVF dilemma, not the creation of a new one. If you are a Catholic family seeking more information about embryo adoption, you can visit www.embryoadoption.org.
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