The gift of life at any cost {Endow Voices}

I met a girlfriend for drinks last month and we got to talking about infertility during a lull in the conversation. Knowing what I do for a living, she raised her glass ever so slightly and asked me, “can you explain what the Church teaches about surrogacy? Because friends of ours are struggling and it’s so sad and if I weren’t already pregnant myself I’d volunteer to carry a baby for them, they’ve been trying so long.”

I took a big sip myself and smiled at her; “that’s beautiful. Of course you want to help your friends.”

And then I did my best to explain why that kind of help cannot be – and will never be – okay.

Infertility is a brutally heavy cross, and it’s easy enough to explain the “rules” when you’re not sitting in the bathroom, gutted over another negative pregnancy test, another cycle of “no.” But also easy – and becoming all the more so as science and technology speed along – to lose sight of the fact that the entire industry which has sprung up around the problem of childlessness deals not in products, but in people.


(Head over to Endow Voices to read the rest) 


  • jeanette

    I cannot speak for everyone, but infertility was not a “brutally” heavy cross for us. I think it has to do more with expectations and acceptance of circumstances, which is a matter of working it out in your heart and mind.

    Coming from a very large family and loving children very much, I just accepted the situation and moved on to alternatives that were in keeping with my beliefs. I rejected all of the things like artificial insemination and surrogacy while I was still a college student studying philosophy and ethics…long before I ever became a married woman faced with the reality. So, I think if you reject those paths to begin with, you won’t be enticed by them. Also, there are so many different paths to choose once you determine you are infertile.

    There are many other ways to have children in one’s life besides giving birth to a child: being close to nieces and nephew or helping a sibling (or other people in your life) with their need for a babysitter or other parenting help is another way. Being in a profession that involves children. Being a foster parent is another way. Adoption is another way. In adoption, there are a variety of avenues to pursue. People often think of the infant, but in the world of foster children, many are in need of adoptive homes since parental rights have been terminated. Many of these children have very serious issues, so it takes a special kind of parenting. But you have to really find out in your heart what it is you are looking for in parenting. Adoption and foster parenting are not for everyone.

    I have also known a number of women who after trying in vain to conceive a child decided to pursue adoption and later on also had biological children. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen in the timeframe you are expecting. You have to give up a certain idea of control over the matter, because that is most likely the foundation for the grief.

    Oftentimes in life, when something we really want is seemingly closed off to us, it is really just a nudge in a different direction that we otherwise wouldn’t have the courage to travel without that loss put behind us first.

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