Before anyone panics, I am not having a baby for *anyone* at the moment, or anywhere in the near future. Okay?
Years ago, when a friend of mine was getting married, she and her husband were discussing children. Now, they both want kids, eventually (not at the moment, because they have a hard enough time taking care of themselves, let alone a tiny person), but my friends family has a notoriously hard time getting pregnant. Why, you may ask, does any of this concern me?
Well. In their discussions, they decided that, should they not be able to conceive on their own, rather than adopt, they would prefer (if possible) to have someone carry a child for them. Surrogacy. Ordinarily, around here, the couple would turn to relatives first. Sisters of either one of them. Unfortunately, my friend is an only child, and her husband has only brothers. Which is where I come in. As best friend, I'm next 'in line'. And, of course, I told them that, if it ever came to that, that I'd be more than willing to be their surrogate mom.
Personally, I'd go the adoption route (if I were in their situation), because, well, those kids already *exist*, and there aren't enough people who want to adopt them, and it's just *sad*. But I do, also, understand the urge to have a child that is (even if only in part), *yours*. Your flesh. Your blood.
Fast forward a few years, and I become Catholic. Wandering around, I discover that, apparently, the Catholic Church teaches against surrogate motherhood.
The reasoning is tied into the argument against contraception. In the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI state that sex within marriage is to be *both* unitive and open to the creation of new life. (Which does not mean, of course, that one can only have sex in order to have a child. We've covered that.) The sticky part here is that Pope Paul VI taught that the connection between unity and procreation is inseparable and a requirement in each and every single instance of sex within marriage.
So, if they are inseparable, then contraception, clearly, contravenes natural law by delivering unity without the possibility on conception. And, if they are inseparable, then they have to be inseparable both ways. It follows (according to this theory) that it is *equally* wrong to have a child apart from the unitive aspects of sex within the marriage.
Let me just take a second here and say, 'Do they think that a couple is going to *stop* having sex within their marriage if they have a baby using a surrogate?' with my eyebrow cocked in Spock-like fashion. Do the couples stop having sex when they adopt children? I don't *think* so.
Okay, but, the Catholic church *does* encourage couples who can't conceive to adopt. So how is that not just as wrong? The answer seems to be that making the best of a 'bad' situation that already exists is different from creating the 'bad' situation.
Just for the sake of it, two instances of surrogacy come to mind, from the Bible. Sarah gave Abraham her maid, Hagar, when she thought she couldn't conceive. No, that didn't turn out particularly well, in the end, but I tend to think that was more because Sarah and Abraham had been *told* they would have a child, and lacked the faith to wait for their promised offspring, even when it seemed impossible. The other is Jacob and Leah and Rachel, who each gave him *their* maids - Bilhah and Zilpah. Anyway. That just seems to me to be the ancient form of surrogacy.
As you may guess, I don't find this argument convincing. I don't see adoption as *that* different from surrogacy. And I *don't* buy the whole, surrogacy = a form of prostitution argument I saw, either. Money changes hands in adoptions too. You're not buying the *child*, in either case.
Anyhow...what do you guys think? Opinions, comments? Am I missing a big, obvious clue stick here?
ETA: I'm curious, what does your faith (denomination or entirely different religion, if applicable) say about surrogacy? Do you know? Do you think it'd be an issue?