SM - My husband and I are unable to have biological children. However we have adopted three wonderful, special needs children, who give us more joy than we ever thought we could have. They are truly the most special spirits of our Heavenly Father's and we feel honored to be able to parent them. In relation to this, we have been hearing about embryo adoption. Basically what happens is that we a couple is trying to concieve they may try Invitro-Fertilization (IVF) during this process, many, many eggs are fertilized and then frozen for later use. This is done assuming that the couple will need many trys to get pregnant and up to four embryos are implanted at once, because most if not all of them do not survive implantation. What frequently happens is that a couple is fortunate enough to get pregnant on the first or second time, chose to have only one or two children, or for whatever reason, divorce usually, decide to no longer attempt to get pregnant.
The dilemma becomes what do with the frozen embryos that are no longer being used, but are still viable. One thing the medical community is doing, is getting permission from the biological parents, and then other couples, are allowed to have these embryos, have them implanted and hopefully have a baby. This would be done, if a woman's eggs are poor, or for several other reasons. Also, because the embryos are fertilized, this process is much cheaper. This couple would then only pay for the implantation of the embryo. so this becomes a much more affordable way to "have a baby". This is a popular idea, because so many of the infants up for adoption have been exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero. this way, the "parents" could control the prenatal care. Of course the child is not genetically related to you, but neither are adopted children. I am wondering what the church's stand on this would be? Would this be a practice that would be supported or condemed by the church?

JOEL - It seems to me that first and foremost that children who have already been born should be first in line for adoption. There are already so many children now that need parents. But in your case, it sounds like you have already done your duty in that department. I also believe that we should do everything we possibly can to bring children into this world and into good homes. The only statement I have seen about this from the Church is the following:

"In vitro fertilization using semen from anyone but the husband or an egg from anyone but the wife is strongly discouraged. However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the judgment of the husband and wife, with responsibility for the decision resting solely upon them." (General Church Handbook)

I believe this statement concerns the situation where one of the parents is the biological parent and they want to use the egg or sperm from a third person. I have not seen any word about the situation you describe. I can only give you my opinon, which is, if those fertilized eggs already exist, it makes sense that someone should adopt them and give another spirit a chance to come to this world. My concern is what I stated earlier about children who are already here and need parents now. Also, if this becomes more popular there are people who may take advantage of this and try to make a lot of money selling their fertilized eggs to childless couples. And it seems they would have to really keep track of who the parents are of those fertilized eggs. What happens if two of those babies from the same biological parents grow up separately and somehow find each other, fall in love, and want to get married, not knowing that they are brother and sister?

If you are serious about this I assume you have already talked to your Bishop or Stake President about this. You should see what they can find out first, since it is difficult for General Authorities to personnaly answer all letters that come to them. If you want to try and ask a General Authority about this you could try sending a letter to one of them at the following address:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

This is a relatively new concept. It could be that they have not really had enough time to think about it themselves. It may come down to getting your own personal revelation from God on what would be the right thing for you to do.

Return to top

Return to Questions