The most perplexing and pejorative language from Donum Vitae is that « marriage does not confer upon the spouses the right to have a child… the child has the right, as already mentioned to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents and has the right to be respected as a person from the moment of conception. »Babies born of IVF are here because their parents loved, respected and longed for these children well before conception.Ugg basse noir These children could not get here through the conjugal love of their parents and it took a very deep love, respect, and commitment to pursue the medical treatment needed to conceive through IVF. There is no doubt in my mind that God is working through loving parents and ethical doctors to allow these children to come into this world.
Now for the ironic in Donum Vitae: « Scientists are to be encouraged to continue their research with the aim of preventing causes of sterility and of being able to remedy them so that sterile couples will be able to procreate in full respect for their own personal dignity and that of the child to be born. »So although there are solutions for sterile couples today, those should not be sought because they are outside of the conjugal act?Ugg basse noir If Carolyn and I were to wait until the scientific advances described in this statement before pursuing additional children, we would not have our daughter – or the opportunity to welcome two more children into this world this August.
If science can advance to the point that all procreation can happen within the confines of the conjugal act, that would be incredible. But what do couples do while waiting the years and probable decades before these advances come to fruition?The challenge for the church is to see the beauty in the science and that there is a path within IVF that is worthy of God’s grace and approval.The church’s presence in this field could help limit abuses and disregard for human life through advocacy,Ugg basse noir education, and support. Perhaps it could provide counselors as couples pursue IVF and face many technical and nuanced decisions. And maybe the church could help couples navigate even more complex situations, like embryo adoption.