Religion & Surrogacy

According to a rough estimate, there are about 4,200 religions in the world. To figure out how many of those religions support surrogacy would take me longer than the week I have to write this! I looked into the largest religions around the world and have only found one religion that says no to surrogacy with no exceptions; that religion is Catholicism. A report issued by the Roman Catholic Church in 1987 stated, “Children are a gift and a blessing from God and that although science makes some things possible it does not make them right.” IUI, IVF, ET, ICSI are also not accepted in the Catholic religion.

Christianity as a whole is more accepting of assistive reproduction but advises a lot of caution if choosing this route. Christians have expressed concern for the well being of the surrogate's mental and physical state after surrogacy and the future psychological state of the children born through surrogacy. They also prefer surrogacy to take place with the married couple's egg and sperm who will be raising the child. 

Judaism views surrogacy as a means to end the suffering and sadness that goes along with infertility. So, as long as nobody is harmed in the process, it is condoned. However, some very outspoken Orthodox Rabbi's haven spoken out against surrogacy, claiming it verges on the enslavement of women for use of their wombs. There are also concerns about the cost of surrogacy, with statements that surrogacy only allows the rich to pass down their genes. The Jewish religion also prefers a man and woman to use their own egg and sperm and raise the child created from them. 

Islam is divided, some view it as adultery because the surrogate is carrying a fertilized embryo inside of her that is not her husband's. The child then would be considered illegitimate. Some view it as a way to preserve the human species but also states it should be done between a married man and woman. 

No surprise here: Buddhism completely accepts surrogacy. Buddhism is one of the few religions that doesn't make procreation a moral obligation. Infertility treatments and surrogacy are not viewed as immoral among Buddhists. 

Hinduism allows surrogacy but prefers that both the egg and sperm come from the married couple that will be raising the child. Children are very important to Hindu families so they are generally accepting of fertility treatments and surrogacy to grow families. 

Some surrogates and IPs want to be matched with people of the same religion or similar religious beliefs. It might take longer to find a match, but if religious beliefs are important to either party, then it will be worth the wait. We'd rather have a match that goes smoothly because the views are similar than to have religious differences cause friction. An example being: a Jewish couple requesting a non-Jewish surrogate to eat Kosher during her pregnancy. The surrogate might think this is completely unreasonable because she didn’t grow up eating kosher. The Jewish intended parents might think it's not a big deal because they are used to this way of living. If this is all communicated beforehand, then these misunderstandings can be avoided.

The best way to go into this journey is with open communication and honesty. Take the time to learn about each other’s cultures and religious beliefs with an open mind. If you are uncomfortable about anything or cannot agree on something, then it's probably not a good match and the parties should keep looking for a better fit. 

Amber Campanelli ~ The Honest Surrogate