Expert Answer Forum

invitro babies QUESTION from ann fischer January 14, 2001 is it against the Catholic religion to knowingly baptise an invitro baby, and what is their view on this procedure to have a child?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on January 22, 2001 Dear Miss Fischer:
It is not against the Catholic to baptize any baby whose parents are Catholic and who are disposed and agree to raise the child in the faith. The church accepts the child regardless of how conceived; afterall such a thing is not the child's fault.
But as to a couple using any form of artificial method of conception, the Church condemns: The Catechism paragraphs 2376-2378 detail the Church's teaching on this:
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.
2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The supreme gift of marriage is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged right to a child would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents, and the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception.
God Bless Bro. Ignatius
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