In late May, the Vatican released a document called The Family Global Compact.

This document is an initiative of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. It was accompanied by message from Pope Francis.

Here is an excerpt from the document regarding embryo donation and adoption:

IVF, it said, is wrong because it produces “large numbers of embryos destined to die or remain frozen, raising significant ethical issues,” and diverts vast resources that could be used to support couples that already have large families, or who are seeking to procreative help through other means.

Yet while condemning embryo donation, one thing the Vatican’s new Family Global Compact does not specifically address is the question of embryo adoption.

The term refers to prospective parents choosing to “adopt” an embryo whose biological parents have signed away their parental rights, meaning they are frozen with no one waiting for them. It’s an alternative many couples are increasingly turning to, including many Catholics reluctant to use IVF techniques.

The cost is often much more manageable for those hoping to start a family, and while still debated among theologians, for many Catholic couples it represents a viable alternative to other, more dubious forms of assisted reproduction.

You may learn more about embryo donation and adoption at