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What Does the Bible Say About..Surrogate Mothers?

Test tube baby made by a couple and put in the husband sister uterus; is this allowed or not (religion wise) and what are the others’ opinions about this matter?


The Bible has nothing that could be said to be for or against “test tube” babies. People are told to reproduce, but nothing could be read as limiting that to reproduction in the normal way. Since marriage between a man and a woman is God’s way of ensuring reproduction, it might be considered wrong if it was the egg or sperm of someone other than the husband and wife. Even that is not clear.

Allowing a surrogate mother to have a child in the place of a wife is as old as the book of Genesis. We find the practice in the life of Abraham (Genesis 16) and his grandson, Jacob (Genesis 30). Although the practice is not specifically condemned, it should be noted that several problems resulted from it. Most notable were jealousy and disputes between the children born through surrogates and those through the wife directly. These problems came about even when it was the wife who suggested the other woman bear children for her. In today’s society there are questions about who has the parental rights, the surrogate or the mother who provided the embryo. Still, there appears to be nothing in the Bible that would directly condemn the procedure.

There are churches who oppose it, most notably the Roman Catholic Church. What I have heard of their objections centers mostly on emotional or practical reasons, and not scripture. Mainly they seem to argue that “in vitro” fertilization and surrogate mothers goes against the idea of family. Further, it would make it easier for homosexual couples to have children, or to bring children into single-parent families. While these may be valid concerns, they have no scripture to say that the practices are wrong.