Does the Catholic Church support using a surrogate mother to have a child?

The Catholic Church is pro-life, and this not only means “not killing” and “actively supporting” life, but it also means being open to new life as well. The Church therefore obviously wants to support the desire of married couples to be parents, but to do so in a way that is in line with God’s intention for how flourishing children come into the world. Thus all technologies that are designed to aid the mechanisms God has given us for procreation are perfectly acceptable, according to the Church. Women and men can take drugs or have surgeries to improve their fertility or their sexual capabilities, for instance.

However, the Church wants to push back against our culture’s understanding that children can be created with technology and distributed via a market. Children are to come as a gift from God via a sexual relationship — instead of being procured as a product or thing. Any reproductive procedure that involves something other than aiding sex and pregnancy within the context of a married couple permanently committed to being the parents of this child together is something the Church insists misses the mark. This includes everything from creating a child in a laboratory to the use of another person as a surrogate to carry the child through pregnancy. The fact that some of us will not be able to be biological parents is a painful one, but the Church claims this is one of the hard truths that we must endure if we believe that children are gifts with their own inherent dignity — rather than things we have the right to purchase on the open market.

from Charlie Camosy, Ph.D., and the Busted Halo Question Box