Is Choosing Surrogacy Okay?

By Julie Roys

She’s 58 and post-menopausal.  But, next month, Utah resident Julia Navarro plans to give birth to her own granddaughter!  Navarro reportedly volunteered to have her daughter and son-in-law’s embryo implanted in her womb after her daughter’s attempts to have children proved unsuccessful.    

No doubt, Ms. Navarro’s actions show great sacrifice and devotion to her daughter.  And, her surrogacy makes possible something that otherwise seemed impossible.  Yet, is surrogacy, which is steadily growing in popularity, really a God-honoring way to solve the problem of infertility?

In the Bible, Abraham and Sarah used their servant, Hagar, as a surrogate when Sarah appeared barren.  But, this surrogacy produced family dynamics so volatile that Abraham eventually had to expel Hagar and their son, Ishmael, from his family.  These unusual and disordered familial relationships almost always result from using surrogates and those considering surrogacy should take this into account.

Surrogacy also distorts the symbolic significance of sexual union.  God designed the union of husband and wife to reflect the unity and love of the Trinity.   And children, if and when they are conceived, are meant to reflect the overflow of Triune love.  They’re meant to be received by parents as a gift, not manufactured in a test-tube and implanted in a third-party when God’s timing and will doesn’t align with our own.

In addition, the in-vitro fertilization process surrogacy requires almost always produces excess embryos.  This is extremely problematic because these excess embryos – human beings – are frequently frozen indefinitely, or worse, destroyed. 

All this being said, as someone who’s suffered multiple miscarriages, I  empathize with those who struggle with infertility.  And, I don’t see anything wrong with seeking help for infertility from the medical community.  Yet, turning to unnatural and third-party solutions, which violate God’s design, is simply not our prerogative. It usurps God’s authority – and may also reveal a lack of trust in God’s goodness and sovereignty.  

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5 thoughts on “Is Choosing Surrogacy Okay?”

  1. Julie:

    I truly feel very sorry for you that your life totally revolves around ‘what God says’. You need to start using your brain, instead of ‘It is God’s wish’

  2. Be honest, Julie…Abraham and Sarah didn’t “use a surrogate mother”. Sarah “gave” her servant to her husband, to be sexually “used” with no thought to Hagar’s wishes in order to produce a child: put more accurately, raped to make a baby. You think maybe that had some impact on the “family dynamic”?

  3. Anon…. I used my brain when determining which truth sources are reliable and which aren’t and am fully persuaded of the veracity of Scripture. What’s your truth source and how do you know it’s reliable?
    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,but fools[b] despise wisdom and instruction.” Prov. 1:7

  4. Rachel… You are correct. Of course, they didn’t have access to artificial reproductive technologies in the ancient world — and I’m sure the fact that Abraham and Hagar were sexually intimate negatively impacted family dynamics. Yet, the tension Scripture specifically references was triggered by Hagar’s son mocking Sarah’s. Again, I just think using a third party introduces all sorts of unhealthy dynamics. Of course, God can redeem anything, so I’m not saying that families who used surrogacy can’t be healthy.

  5. I see your point and agree that choices like this need to be carfully examined before proceeding. But I’m not sure the scripture used fits exacly here. There IS a difference between an older mother helping her daughter and son in law out by carring the grandchild for then and what sara did in the bible. The child Hagar had was if no blood relation to sara. He was created out of the sexual union of her husband and this other woman. No part of sara was reflected in Ishmael. That will not be the case with Ms. Navarro and her daughter. Also, the son in law doesn’t “know” his mother in law “intemily” so that dynamic isn’t an issue here. Lastly, Hagar was a young, viberant woman just starting out in life and had no never experienced childbirth and rearing. I’m pretty sure that at 58 years of age, Ms. Navarro isn’t that interested in actually raising her grandchild. So my take away from this issue is Who is being the serogate

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