IVF Donor Egg question

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby sunny-dee » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:08 pm

Job29Man wrote:OG Note: TMB is pro-life. Every parent is responsible for, and accountable to God, to provide for and protect every human life that they conceive, and to give him/her a healthy, flourishing childhood in a loving home.


I am, too. There is an option with embryo donation to do a directed donation (where it goes to a specific recipient). Similar to a regular infant adoption, I can donate semi-openly or anonymously with restrictions on geographic location, religion, and other factors:
https://www.embryodonation.org/donation/

The successful pregnancy rate is about 35% (similar to IVF without donated embryos).

All of that happens after I have completed my own family, and assuming I have any left over.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Kilarin » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:37 pm

I do not see any biblical issues with IVF around the point of the egg not being your own. I like the previous comparison to levirate marriage.

The question of "Would you donate gametes" is a separate issue. Just like "Would I be willing to adopt" and "Would I put a child up for adoption" are very different questions.

I DO think any Christian considering IVF would have to think VERY carefully about what is going to happen to those embryos. It sounds like there may be ethical ways to deal with that, but it is most definitely a serious issue that would require a lot of prayer, study, and research. Which it sounds like sunny-dee has been doing.

Praying for you and your children sunny-dee!

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby poetess » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:49 pm

Kilarin (and others saying there is no moral distinction between using a donor egg and using one's own): If you were to find out tomorrow that your mother had conceived you using a donor egg, that you were biologically here because your father's sperm joined with another woman's egg, would it make you in any way uncomfortable? (Completely apart from finding out your mom is not your biological mother.) What if you were to find out that the sperm in your conception had been from your grandfather, joining with the egg of your mother?

Now, I am not saying an "ew, ick" response is some infallible sign of something being right or wrong, but I do think the innate sense that this is improper use of our fertility has merit. Let's say my husband were to consider donating or selling his sperm (which he would not do--he said very clearly when we discussed this thread "that is wrong"). If he told me that he was considering such a thing, I would tell him no, he may not do such a thing--his sperm is for me, and me alone. That is proper, godly jealousy, just as it would be proper, godly jealousy if I were to insist he could not go around kissing other women or patting them on the butt. If he were to insist on doing so, I would bring it before the church, because he has no right to conceive a child outside our marriage, even if it is not for his own benefit in any way. Levirate marriage (making someone your wife) is a totally different issue (no pun intended). Just as a teenage boy is morally responsible for any child he conceives, so is a grown man.
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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby sunny-dee » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:10 pm

Poetess, why would you equate sperm or egg donation with incest?

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby poetess » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:20 am

Sunny-dee, maybe you didn't see my earlier example. I actually once knew someone who was infertile and who got sperm from his father to try to impregnate his wife. When I heard about that, I thought it was a real blessing it didn't take. Does that example sound like incest to you? If so, then what keeps use of any donor gamete from straying too close to adultery?
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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Kilarin » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:25 am

poetess wrote:Now, I am not saying an "ew, ick" response is some infallible sign of something being right or wrong, but I do think the innate sense that this is improper use of our fertility has merit.

I have a very strong "ew, ick" reaction to levirate marriage. :)
I already contain genetic material from both of my grandfathers. In an absolutely true sense, I AM the result of their sperm. Both of them. But lets not insist that all IVF comes from a close relative. Most often it does not.
Biblically, I don't see anything different between gamete donation and adoption.

poetess wrote:Let's say my husband were to consider donating or selling his sperm

I would not either, but for very different reasons. Any child produced from my sperm would be MY child, just as much as my son is my child. I would feel responsible for them, I would want to, A: Make certain they had a good Christian home were they were being treated well, and B: Make certain that home was MINE! How could I not be a daily part of their lives? They would be my kid!

Please note, I am all for adoption, I think it is a WONDERFUL thing and I have nothing but admiration for the people who adopt children, and I have a lot of admiration for many of the people who put their children up for adoption. It takes a lot of gumption to make the sacrifice required to give up your children so that they can have a better home and life. Saying that I am not personally up to making that decision does not mean I think it's a bad decision.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby poetess » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:14 am

Kilarin, I am definitely not insisting that donor gametes are usually from relatives--I'm sure they aren't. But this case pulls into stark relief how improper such use is--and how weird it would look to the child to know that "my parents are married to each other, and have sex only with each other, but I am the result of joining someone else's egg or sperm with that of one of my parents." I don't think most children could ever see their parents the same way again, or their marriage, once they find out the reality. To a child, this would be confusing and it would simply feel wrong. BTW, levirate marriage doesn't really seem icky to me. A woman is single and childless, and the brother or cousin of her late husband marries her to give her offspring, protection, and a home. It seems a whole lot better than leaving her an unprotected widow, and I think it also allows her to stay on the property where she was living. And presumably she could say no if she thought it was a bad match.

Your saying you could not do this because you would feel responsibility for such a child is actually exactly the point--you have responsibility for a child you conceive. We can't tell a 16-year-old boy who gets his girlfriend pregnant that he now has responsibilities to that child but turn around and tell an adult that they can donate gametes and not know if a child is ever conceived and not care what happens to that child. What if the mother chooses to abort the child? What if she abuses the child? What if they use donor egg and donor sperm and they divorce about the time of the birth and neither wants the child, or the child is handicapped and so they do not want it? What if a homosexual couple is conceiving a child using your gametes? There are many legal concerns (the courts have had nightmares with some of these scenarios, especially when surrogate mothers are involved). There are also moral implications, and for a Christian the understanding is that conception takes place within marriage and you are responsible for children you conceive.

Comparing this to adoption is completely apples and oranges. Adoption is a very biblical principle, even being a reflection of Christ adopting us as His own. Adoption is taking a child who needs a home and giving him one.
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It's about God's Design and Law, not technology

Postby Job29Man » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:37 am

When thinking out the morality of IVF Donor Egg question, the approach I take is this.

This is really a question about God's Design and God's Moral Law, not about technology.

Morality exists independent of technology and science.
The mere fact that something is possible, does not mean that it is moral. It may be moral, it may not be.
In the past many things were beyond our ability, impossible to achieve, for example travel to the moon.
No one ever argued about the morality of dumping earth's nuclear waste on the moon, because nuclear power and space travel did not exist.
Now that space travel, and nuclear waste exist it is possible that one might have the discussion about the morality of dumping waste on the moon, without being completely specious.

Likewise, in the past IVF and Donor Eggs did not exist, so no one ever questioned the morality of it.
But human reproduction did exist. It was sexual, and ONLY sexual, and a huge amount of human thinking and argumentation went into developing a robust ethic of sexuality (which didn't always cause reproduction) and reproduction (which was always sexual).

When we look at God's commands in His Holy Word the Bible we see that a HUGE amount of emphasis is put on sexual morality. God Himself places stringent and inflexible boundaries around human sexual behavior, complete with death penalties in the OT, and strong condemnation by the Apostles and Christ in the NT for violating those boundaries.

Now that, after 6,000+ years of human existence by sexual reproduction, we finally have the technology to separate sexual intercourse from reproduction, and reproduction from sexual intercourse, why would we think that we can ask the great questions about that kind of "non-intercourse" reproduction separately from the longstanding moral decisions and doctrines of God's people on earth?

We should not assume that because this form of human reproduction does not involve actual sexual intercourse that it also is not touched or regulated by God's moral law. And I know that that is the purpose of this thread, to explore this morality, thanks for that. At the same time I encourage anyone considering ANY kind of human reproduction to focus first on God's moral law, His commands, His design for the Universe, including the idea that there is a case to made for the fact that it is God who closes the womb (this is not stated formalistically in the Bible, but the principle is shown) and that perhaps this is a door against which we should not vigorously push?

I approach ALL questions involving human sexuality and human reproduction with holy fear and great caution. Just because I CAN do reproduction differently does not mean that I MAY. I am concerned that our society approaches reproduction far too casually, and that the Church too easily adopts the attitude of the godless word, namely "I may do whatever I can do."

The idea of having ones' babies frozen in a petri dish in a state of suspended animation, for ANY amount of time, let alone for years or decades, is a profound question impacted by Gods' Design.

My view of this is that parents are absolutely, 100% under the obligation to provide a safe and protected life for every human being that they conceive or that they cause to be conceived by any means whatsoever. I believe that this could NOT include leaving human souls frozen in a lab, at least not without an airtight solid plan and commitment to implant them and give them a natural shot at survival VERY quickly. The added expense of this commitment is no reason not to have the firm plan and absolute commitment to the quick implantation of absolutely ALL of the frozen babies. And you are responsible for all the aspects of their destiny that you would be had you birthed them yourself by natural means and adopted them out.

I believe this is NOT a responsibility to push onto anyone else, least of all a lab or the State.
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Re: It's about God's Design and Law, not technology

Postby MayDayGirl » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:07 am

Job29Man wrote: At the same time I encourage anyone considering ANY kind of human reproduction to focus first on God's moral law, His commands, His design for the Universe, including the idea that there is a case to made for the fact that it is God who closes the womb (this is not stated formalistically in the Bible, but the principle is shown) and that perhaps this is a door against which we should not vigorously push?


That seems rather harsh, considering the myriad of reasons a female or male may be infertile. If I were to marry a male with a low sperm count due to medication he took in childhood, does that mean God doesn't want me to have children? And if God does make me barren, does that mean I shouldn't adopt because God has a reason why I shouldn't become a mother?

I think it's worrisome when we attach Godly reasons behind what happens with our fallible bodies here on Earth. It would be like saying, God gave me cancer, therefore I should accept that fact and not get chemotherapy.

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Re: It's about God's Design and Law, not technology

Postby Job29Man » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:35 pm

MayDayGirl wrote:It seems rather harsh

I know it can seem hard, which is why I didn't state it categorically, but offered it suppositionally with gentle language...

Job29Man wrote:I encourage anyone...to focus first on ... a case to be made for ... perhaps this is ... ?


MDG wrote:... considering the myriad of reasons a female or male may be infertile. If I were to marry a male with a low sperm count due to medication he took in childhood, does that mean God doesn't want me to have children?

Not necessarily. And I didn't mean to say anything like that. Sorry if I was unclear.

MDG wrote:And if God does make me barren, does that mean I shouldn't adopt because God has a reason why I shouldn't become a mother?


I did not mention adoption, but human sexual reproduction. I was very, very specific, choosing my words with care to deliberately keep it narrow and to steer clear of adoption. This thread is about In Vitro Fertilization, so that's what I'm addressing -- ONLY IVF.

The fact that a case can be made that God closes a womb does not mean that "God has a reason I shouldn't become a mother." I am asking people to consider these non-sexual intercourse forms of human reproduction in light of God's design of the Universe. This would mean that focus is off of myself and my problems, and onto God and His purpose, design, and glory.

MDG wrote:I think it's worrisome when we attach Godly reasons behind what happens with our fallible bodies here on Earth. It would be like saying, God gave me cancer, therefore I should accept that fact and not get chemotherapy.


I disagree. I think it's not like cancer. Human reproduction, sexual intercourse, marriage, family, children ... these are packed full with powerful theological importance to God and mankind. IMHO they require special handling, differently from almost all other matters of concern to us. Disease (like cancer) falls into a different category. Disease does have a theological aspect of course. It's a part of the process of bringing about death. Childbearing is the process of bringing about life. This is very, very tightly regulated by God in the Bible. Diseases are presented as bad, and important to cure, but generally without the strong moral imperatives surrounding human reproduction and sex.

I suppose an illustration could be speech. Preaching is speech; so it reciting the Gettysburg Address. But God attaches great restrictions and boundaries to preaching; who may preach, what should be preached, etc. It has high theological importance and is the topic of much teaching in the Word. Reciting a speech is using one's voice also, and getting a history education is important, but it falls into a different category than preaching.

I don't believe that God causes all disease and that we just need to live with it, or not try to cure disease "because it's the will of God" or some such. Infertility is also presented as a bad thing in the Bible, the cause of much anguish, and God intervenes to open the womb. Infertility can also be a result of disease. This is all true.

Conception is about creating new life. Disease is about destroying life. They are fundamentally different, even granting that there is some crossover of both in the area of infertility.

It is permissible to go to great technological lengths (I believe) to cure many diseases without violating a moral boundary, or God's design. But sometimes even then we can violate God's moral law and His design (aborted baby stem cells for example), so we need to always ask ourselves "I CAN accomplish this thing, but MAY I? Is it moral?"

When human desperation at childlessness is high, all I'm contending is that we tread very, VERY carefully on this holy ground and understand that our limits are probably much tighter than "what options are technologically possible for me?" In the area of conceiving children we should ask first "How can I do this in a way that brings glory to God?"

In addressing infertility I believe we are not free to create a new moral framework separate from that which is already laid out in Scripture where the principles are set forth in the context that all procreation is sexual*. Just because we've figured out how to not make it involve intercourse does not mean that we get to ignore the existing Biblical framework on procreation and sex.

I know that some will see infertility as nothing more than disease and attach no moral significance to treating it. I get that. I just disagree is all. Infertility is not like cancer. It's theologically different IMO.

*I recognize that biologically speaking even IVF is "sexual" in the sense of mixing male and female gametes. Here when I say sexual I mean "caused by sexual intercourse."
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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Kilarin » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:41 pm

poetess wrote:how weird it would look to the child to know that "my parents are married to each other, and have sex only with each other, but I am the result of joining someone else's egg or sperm with that of one of my parents." I don't think most children could ever see their parents the same way again, or their marriage, once they find out the reality. To a child, this would be confusing and it would simply feel wrong.

I'm not denying your feelings in any way, but this doesn't make any sense to me on an emotional level at all. It wouldn't seem to me to be any different than discovering that you are actually the child from a previous marriage or conceived out of wedlock. So what?

But then, perhaps my perception is based upon my experiences. My maternal grandfather was not my grandmothers first husband. She was married, had two daughters, then got a divorce (biblical). Later she married my grandfather and from that union my mother was born.

The funny thing about this is that *I* knew nothing about it for most of my childhood. I was already a young teenager when I asked a question about where my aunt had gone to and my mother said, "Oh, she is off visiting her other father." I was, to say the least, quite surprised. At first I thought I had stumbled upon a big family secret. But that wasn't the case. Everyone knew about it, there was no secret whatsoever and no one had tried to shield me from this information. It was just that the fact that my grandfather was not the biological father of my two aunts, or actually related to my cousins, was so completely and totally unimportant that no one had happened to mention it.

As far as my aunts were concerned, my grandfather was their daddy. He had been their daddy since he married their mother, and no bond of actual blood could have made the relationship any closer than it was. As far as my grandfather was concerned, they were his daughters, every bit as much as the one conceived with half of his own genetic code. And the same thing was true for his relationship with my cousins. He was their grandfather, and they were his grandkids. Period. End of story. The fact that my grandfather was not biologically related to my two aunts or their children was not treated as a shameful secret, or as something to hide, but simply as a topic so unimportant that it seldom came up.

And so, for the "ick factor," from my perspective, biological relation does not change who your daddy (or mommy) is. Your daddy and mommy are the people who raised you and love you.

poetess wrote:BTW, levirate marriage doesn't really seem icky to me.

Ick factor works differently for different people. To me, levirate marriage is icky precisely because it DOES involve having sex with your brothers wife. Especially icky if you are married to a wife of your own.

Ick factor varies drastically from person to person depending on their backgrounds and experiences. That is why I agree with your point about ick factor not being a reliable guide to morality. We've seen too many people come on to these forums objecting to monogamous married sex because it set off their own ick factor. Ick factor may warn us to take a second look at something, but our ultimate guide for morality must be the Bible (and logical extensions of the principles laid out therein)

poetess wrote:Your saying you could not do this because you would feel responsibility for such a child is actually exactly the point--you have responsibility for a child you conceive.

And that is why I said the question of donating vs using gametes are very different questions, just like the question of putting a child out for adoption is very different from adopting a child. And they do seem to be similar issues to me. Adopting a child does not mean you approve of the circumstances that caused that child to be put up for adoption. Using donated gametes or zygotes does NOT mean that you approve of donating the same yourself. Because someone else has been willing to abrogate their parental responsibilities should not discourage you from taking those same responsibilities on.

Would you feel differently if the question was not IVF but accepting a donated zygote left over from someone else's IVF? Because it seems to me that the only difference between that and adoption would be that you were actually giving even more, because the zygote could not even live without you giving it a womb to be born from.

And if we agree that there is nothing immoral about accepting a donated zygote that doesn't contain genetic material from either of the raising parents, then why is it so objectionable to be implanted with a zygote that contains the genetic material from one of the raising parents?

Job29Man wrote:Morality exists independent of technology and science.

Amen!

Job29Man wrote:His commands, His design for the Universe, including the idea that there is a case to made for the fact that it is God who closes the womb (this is not stated formalistically in the Bible, but the principle is shown) and that perhaps this is a door against which we should not vigorously push?

I think this is a good question. But if we determined that the answer was no, that we should not push against that door because God had closed it, we would not only eliminate all fertility treatments, but also all medical treatments whatsoever. Because there is no logical reason not to expand that same principle. It is God who closes the womb, it is also God who allows all other kinds of disease and illness. If a man is born blind, would we not be pushing against the same door by treating and curing his blindness? Was it pushing against God's will when my wife and I put my son into treatment for his bad hip so that he could walk (and run!) again someday? And to that I have to answer absolutely NO! We live in a world contaminated by sin, and doctors are doing holy work when they attempt to beat back sin by treating disease and illness, including problems with fertility.

I think we have to treat the morality of fertility medicine the same way we treat the morality of all other medicine. As you said Job, we have to look at the principles laid out in the Bible. My fears about the morality of IVF as a cure for infertility are based upon the exact same fears I have about using fetal stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease or Diabetes. Does this treatment require the sacrifice of life? If it does, then we have to say no, it is not moral, no matter how miraculous and wonderful the cure is.

Of course, that isn't the ONLY question. We do have to consider expense, and the fact that there are so many children out there who need good homes for adoption. There are lots of questions that need to be looked at and answered. But with IVF I think that first and foremost is the question of whether or not it is throwing away the lives of your children. I think our concerns on that front are very similar.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Job29Man » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:47 pm

Kilarin,

I can see that we are posting almost simultaneously and I'm still editing my prior post to boot. So your objection below is actually addressed in my post, and you can read how I do not see it that way at all. But, because of us writing at the same time you have not had a chance to read my reasoning.

BTW, I always enjoy reading your posts. You think things through deeply.

Job

Job29Man wrote:His commands, His design for the Universe, including the idea that there is a case to made for the fact that it is God who closes the womb (this is not stated formalistically in the Bible, but the principle is shown) and that perhaps this is a door against which we should not vigorously push?

Kilarin wrote:I think this is a good question. But if we determined that the answer was no, that we should not push against that door because God had closed it, we would not only eliminate all fertility treatments, but also all medical treatments whatsoever. Because there is no logical reason not to expand that same principle. It is God who closes the womb, it is also God who allows all other kinds of disease and illness.
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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Job29Man » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:52 pm

Kilarin wrote:I think we have to treat the morality of fertility medicine the same way we treat the morality of all other medicine. As you said Job, we have to look at the principles laid out in the Bible. My fears about the morality of IVF as a cure for infertility are based upon the exact same fears I have about using fetal stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease or Diabetes. Does this treatment require the sacrifice of life? If it does, then we have to say no, it is not moral, no matter how miraculous and wonderful the cure is.


I challenge that thought. We WILL get to the point of cloning humans asexually (in both the carnal and biological sense). This to me is clearly abomination and it involves no sacrifice of life.

Once we get on board with the idea that the morality of fertility medicine is no different from treating arthritis or cancer then we've surrendered the whole thing to godless secularism. No. Human sexuality and reproduction are profoundly religious, profoundly theological, and very VERY different from treating disease.
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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Kilarin » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:08 pm

Job29Man wrote:It is permissible to go to great technological lengths (I believe) to cure many diseases without violating a moral boundary, or God's design. But sometimes even then we can violate God's moral law and His design (aborted baby stem cells for example), so we need to always ask ourselves "I CAN accomplish this thing, but MAY I? Is it moral?"

Ha, seems we were thinking and typing about the same things at the same time. :)

Job29Man wrote:I know that some will see infertility as nothing more than disease and attach no moral significance to treating it. I get that. I just disagree is all. Infertility is not like cancer. It's theologically different IMO.

You brought up the issue of speech. But there are lots of medical conditions that affect speech, and we feel free to treat those as long as we can do so in a way that does not violate any of God's laws. What biblical principle would make us treat medical problems with fertility differently?

If a husband is having problems getting erections, we say "Check his testosterone levels and if they are low, get that FIXED!" Why should we treat it any differently if a woman is not ovulating and needs to get her hormones straightened out in order to restore a natural cycle?

There are a LOT of infertility issues that are just disease. They are something wrong with the body that is stopping it from being able to reproduce normally. I don't see any theological difference in treating those kinds of diseases than treating any other. In that respect, I don't see any difference between treating cancer and treating a man who has a blocked vas deferens.

On the OTHER hand, there are all kinds of issues around fertility that are stepping well outside of just treating disease and walking into brand new areas where the morality gets very questionable and is usually not being properly considered at all. If THAT is what you are talking about, then I am in complete agreement that there is a very important theological difference between treating a cancer and, as you mention, cloning.

Job29Man wrote:I always enjoy reading your posts. You think things through deeply.

Eh, usually my thinking is WAY to shallow, but thank you. The feeling is mutual, I assure you! :)

Job29Man wrote:I challenge that thought. We WILL get to the point of cloning humans asexually (in both the carnal and biological sense). This to me is clearly abomination and it involves no sacrifice of life.

Valid point. I like the fact that you clarified asexual cloning, because sexual cloning happens all the time. We just call them twins. :) But the moral issues around asexual cloning are many and complicated and could fill a thread of their own I think.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby poetess » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:30 pm

Job, I agree.

Once we get on board with the idea that the morality of fertility medicine is no different from treating arthritis or cancer then we've surrendered the whole thing to godless secularism. No. Human sexuality and reproduction are profoundly religious, profoundly theological, and very VERY different from treating disease.


I've actually done a lot of reading on the subjects addressed here, as well as surrogate mothering. These instances bring up "hard cases" all the time, cases we wouldn't be facing without a culture that has seriously changed how we deal with infertility. There is no problem at all in getting hormones regulated or dealing with a problem that is causing multiple miscarriages or otherwise doing medical treatment of infertility; some infertility treatments are in a whole different category.

When I was single, I yearned for children, and I watched my fertility slip away. That actually isn't something the Christian world understands very well, BTW--in my experience people weren't all that interested in hearing a single woman say she wanted children; it was pretty close to saying I was "this close" to committing fornication to get pregnant. I was allowed to say I cried myself to sleep at night yearning for a husband (which I never did, but people would have understood that), but as a single I wasn't "allowed" to say I desperately wanted children. But at any rate, it occurred to me that the technology existed for me to get pregnant. But I never once considered it. Why? Even without sex, single women bearing children is not in God's plan (outside such cases as her being widowed while pregnant).

Some of the legal morass that exists in today's reproductive technology (cases I've read about):

--a woman dies with frozen embryos in storage, but her husband cannot by himself give permission to have them adopted
--a man dies with frozen embryos in storage, and even though he had signed that his wife had permission to use such in case of his death, the center wished to destroy them (which, of course, highlights another dilemma of the technology: you as a couple plan to use all the embryos, but if you get pregnant on the first try and then your husband dies, what then?)
--a couple divorces, and they both sue for custody of the embryos, or one sues for custody while one fights to have them destroyed and argues against any moral responsibility for such things as child support
--centers charge high storage fees, and sometimes refuse access to a couple whose time has barely run out but who didn't get the renewal notice because of a recent move
--a surrogate mother is contractually expected (in some states) to have an abortion if the clients tell her to--for instance, if triplets are conceived, they will have her have an abortion and then they will start over; she may or may not legally refuse and keep the children, but she likely is not in a position to take on the children she is birthing
--experiments are being done with the possibility of a child having three parents

All in all, when Christians take a position that anyone who wants a child and can afford to have one, the means of doing so are irrelevant as long as no one actually has sexual intercourse with someone to whom they are not married, we have given the green light to some hideous abuses to God's good gift of procreation within marriage.

BTW, one legal morass no one would have considered a half century ago: Women are being impregnated after their husbands' deaths using their husbands' sperm or frozen embryos . . . and normally a woman with minor children is eligible for social security payments from her husband's account for those children, but what happens if they were conceived after his death? Court cases have faced this challenge and many more. We can't just be glib and say everyone should make up their own minds as to what is right and wrong. That way leads to the repeated refrain in the book of Judges: "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." That phrase wasn't a praise of free choice, but a statement of anarchy!
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby neilethere » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:19 pm

For me the biggest issue IVF raised was assessing when life begins. I am not going to raise the ire (again) of the mods by pursuing that particular line of thought.

Job,

If you have time can you flesh out this

Job29Man wrote:And you are responsible for all the aspects of their destiny that you would be had you birthed them yourself by natural means and adopted them out.


We live in very different countries so I am interested in what you see as the 'aspects of their destiny' in an adoption situation.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Job29Man » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:59 am

Neile,

Sure, no prob. I'm not sure what us living in different countries has to do with anything. Man's law is meaningless and non-binding when it conflicts with God's commands, so for purpose of this discussion I'm ignoring the laws of nations as irrelevant and without moral significance. I will use the pronoun "you" here, but it's not directed at any person, just the editorial "you." And I use the number "12 children" without reference to anyone... it's just an even dozen.

Premise: God's moral law and Biblical principles apply to all issues of human life regardless of technology, they are not suspended or suddenly inapplicable just because a child is conceived in a petri dish instead of a womb.

God's Design and Intent: When two people conceive a child (by any means whatsoever), they have become parents. Now all the Biblical obligations of parenthood are upon the parents. God's Word does not have a handbook, or rulebook for the obligations of parents, but the principles are there for anyone to learn. When you are a parent you become obligated to another human, your child. The two parents are one flesh, so they stay together until death parts them. When they have a child they are obligated to provide for the child, protect the child, educate the child, and train up the child in the Christian faith. These are obligations, they are not options, you MUST do these things. This is what I mean by "destiny." When Christian parents conceive a child they are telling God "I will raise this child to love and serve Jesus."

Sometimes extraordinary conditions beyond your control may justify an extremely rare exception to this rule, like you are the last surviving parent and you are dying and unable to care for the child so you give him up for adoption. But I believe you must do so within the obligations of a Christian parent. So, you can't give the child to a Muslim couple, or homosexual atheist couple, and still fulfill your obligation to the child and to God.

If you conceive children (whether one or 12) and put them in suspended animation, you are STILL their parent, you STILL have ALL the obligations of a Christian parent (detailed above). They are your family members.

Is it within God's moral law, and Biblical principles to put your child into suspended animation in the first place? Would you do it with a child you had birthed? No? Then what makes us think we may do this to a newly conceived child without incurring the ire of the Author of Life?

It is not possible to say "But, but I didn't really mean to have a dozen children. I didn't bargain for this!" In truth, yes you did bargain for exactly this, not that it matters. "I just wanted two. But the clinic would only do a dozen so we could 'play the numbers' for the best chance of success." The scientist, the clinic is not responsible or to blame for your reproductive decisions. The fact that you "wanted two children, but you created twelve children" is irrelevant. You HAVE twelve children.

This is not a game, not a gamble. (I'm not saying you or anyone called it a game or gamble) It is creating human life and becoming Christian parents obligated to raise YOUR 12 children that you freely chose to conceive. No one held a gun to your head. Now they are yours, so birth them, feed them, protect them, educate them, love them, raise them in the Christian faith. These are ALL your children. You don't give your children to other people because you decided you didn't want the number that you freely chose to conceive.

Healthy parents who are not in extremely bad circumstances beyond their control (war, near death, single and too young, etc) must raise their own children, they are yours. So if you have a dozen on ice, you need to implant them all in their mother one or two at a time, and birth them ALL into your own family. The extreme case exceptions I mentioned are not justification for a prosperous healthy couple to avoid their obligations to their children.

The idea of "I am a healthy prosperous married adult, and I will conceive children and give them to other people?" Where is that principle in the Bible? Would we do this without IVF technology? No. So I am arguing that the same moral rules apply, regardless of technology. Your children are not yours to give to other people like so much spare furniture, they are your offspring to raise. They are not your possessions, your children are flesh of your flesh, and will be bone of your bone, they will have your blood in their veins. You are spiritually bound to them. You are obligated to them, to parent them, to raise them yourself. The person who does not wish to raise 12 children, should not conceive 12 children.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby neilethere » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:56 am

Thank you for taking the time to answer Job

I was probably thinking more along the lines of a couple choosing to adopt out a baby/donate to an infertile couple. Doesn't seem to be any room for that in your mind.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby Kilarin » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:10 am

I'm in general agreement with you on most of this Job, but I do have questions about one statement:
Job29Man wrote:Is it within God's moral law, and Biblical principles to put your child into suspended animation in the first place? Would you do it with a child you had birthed

I think I understand what you are getting at, leaving children frozen until they are convenient, or hoping they will be convenient, or that you can find a home for them, is a very frightening decision with a LOT of moral implications. But to your direct question of would I ever put my child into suspended animation? If that is meant literally, my answer is yes, I would.

In a small way, when he was put under anesthesia, that was putting him into suspended animation for a short while. In a more serious way, when doctors do some very major surgeries on the heart or brain now they first cool the body down drastically to put it into suspended animation so that the brain does not suffer from oxygen loss during the surgery. In a much more literal way scientists are researching how to extend that process for much longer periods of time, with the goal being that an ambulance could pick up a accident victim who was on the edge of death, quickly suspend them and keep them that way for hours or even days while the correct equipment and experts were gathered who would be needed repair the damage, and then wake the patient back up. We aren't there yet, but they are working on it.

I don't think that is what you are talking about though. It's a very different question of slowing or stopping a child's metabolism so that you can treat a serious medical problem, and putting that kid on ice just because you aren't ready for them yet.

My concerns over IVF (and several related types of infertility solutions) are not with donor gametes. To me that would be a major problem going out, but not coming in. Just like with adoption. But my primary moral quandaries are about what happens to the "extra" children, and I think you have laid out those concerns very well.

These are not easy questions, and I am not sitting in judgment upon anyone who has chosen to use IVF. But I do think these are important questions, VERY important ethical questions, that need to be considered. And from my perspective, the concerns over what would happen to my children are simply to frightening.

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Re: IVF Donor Egg question

Postby poetess » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:14 pm

Neil, I know you were asking Job this . . .

I was probably thinking more along the lines of a couple choosing to adopt out a baby/donate to an infertile couple. Doesn't seem to be any room for that in your mind.


. . . but my own thought on seeing it was no, of course not! Why would that possibly be a good idea? It's one thing when a child is in need of a home, to offer a home. It's another thing altogether to "create" a customized child to order for someone else. Let's see, they want sperm from a man who is good at science, tall, preferably red-haired, and they want eggs from a woman with a curvy but thin build, red or blonde hair, creative, and smart, and they want the womb of a proven surrogate who takes good care of herself when she is pregnant, who sings to the child in the womb, but who does not bond with the child.

Is this God's way to put children in families? No, it decidedly is not.

Sitting in church this morning, a big problem with this jumped to mind. All of this treats children as products to be bought, sold, consumed, or discarded! Even putting children on ice, you're at the whim of the electricity going out and finding the company lied about having a back-up generator; if their contract doesn't allow you access because one of the spouses dies or you failed to abide by one specific clause of the contract, then your children are held hostage, but don't worry, they never saw them as "children" anyway, but as a biological product to be stored or discarded at will. If science comes up with an artificial womb, many people will find it more convenient to have their children that way. Already people screen their unborn children to make sure they are disease-free and perhaps the right sex, and maybe someday parents will be gestating multiple babies and then selecting from them for the most desirable characteristics and aborting the rest. Perhaps someday we will be able to choose from sending our children to an artificial womb or, for a premimum, to a live surrogate, and only the poorest and most backward parents will gestate their own children.

But God's plan is for a man and a woman to marry, with a lifetime commitment, and to bear and raise children. Sometimes people deal with infertility or they wait too long to begin to have children, and extra obstacles come up. Sometimes those can be handled fairly easily, and sometimes it is impossible for a given couple to conceive a child with their own bodies. Those are sad situations. It's not the ideal that I myself married too late in life to conceive children. Life has pain. But accepting God's hand as good even in the pain is a better answer than rewriting the rules. A single man doesn't get to rewrite the rules by using pornography, and an infertile couple doesn't get to rewrite the rules by going outside the marriage to conceive children. It isn't unsympathetic to say this; I write as someone who will never bear my own children, and who had to come to terms with that, and who saw God's goodness even in that. He is good, even when life doesn't turn out as we expect, even when it turns out very sorrowful.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!


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