There are over 4,000 religions, faith groups, and denominations in our modern-day world, and as you might imagine, the teachings of each one differ. You could actually see that as a reflection of the world that we live in; different ethnic groups, gender and sexuality identities, etc. In one way or another, religion has or continues to play a part in our lives from dating, personal values, or what type of work you want to devote part or all of your life towards.
However, there are times when you find yourself caught between your religion and the choices you may want to make in your life This may be a result of your religion having opposing views. Alternatively, there may be no clear answer and you might find confusion in the gray area as you navigate toward an answer.
We all know by now that many religions and denominations have different responses when it comes to reproductive health (abortion for example), with some being more progressive than others. This may lead you to question what different belief systems have to say about surrogacy.
Lets jump into a quick rundown on how the major five faiths feel about surrogacy:
- Buddhism: Is widely accepting of surrogacy as if it is done from a place of kindness then it is a good thing. Also, there is no obligation toward marriage or having children, it is left up to the individual to decide.
- Hinduism: Is also largely acceptive of surrogacy as it is viewed as a form of medical assistance when there are fertility issues.
- Protestant: This faith group branches off from the Catholic Church while still practicing Christianity, has varying denominations (Baptist, Methodist, etc.), and also has varying opinions on surrogacy with some falling into a more progressive stance.
- Islam: The decision about surrogacy also falls into the varying category where some Muslims believe surrogacy is acceptable as it plays a part in the continuation of the human race, and others believe similarly to the Catholic Church that any outside help should not take part.
- Judaism: While having different denominations you will also find different views on surrogacy, running from acceptance as it helps couples that suffer from fertility issues to disapproval from some conservative groups.
- Catholic: While the Catholic Church is firm in its view that children are to be adored and protected because they are a gift from God. It is also firm in its view that children are only to be conceived and carried by a married couple (husband and wife), and outside help in this process is deemed immoral.
Is there a Balance?
Now, as we said in the beginning, there are over 4,000 religions, faith groups, and denominations and you could end up with either a solid answer on how your faith feels about you becoming a gestational surrogacy or left in a gray area. That brings us to the question of this post — Is there a balance?
The answer to this question lies solely in what works best for you as a person and your goals and personal values. There are a lot of factors that play a part in this decision. For starters, many religions were created long before IVF and gestational surrogacy could be imagined as something available to people, and as much as that doesn’t always make the gray area any less gray, it doesn’t equal an absolute “no.”
Additionally, properly facilitated surrogacy helps to protect and honor your rights as a gestational surrogacy, and also the rights of the intended parents in a way that is both respectful and ethical to everyone involved. Knowing that as well might not cure the anxiety you might be feeling, but both these “food for thought” realities gives you the opportunity to give yourself grace, and that can give you space and time to think.
That space can also lead you to ask questions from your religious leaders if you are seeking more clarity before you factor in more information toward your choice, as this choice is yours to make because there are options that can bring comfort to you. For example, if you feel that to find a balance between your religion and your desire to become a surrogate, the idea of matching with the intended parent(s) that have the same or similar religious beliefs to make you feel more at ease is a possibility. Asking questions is in no way a bad thing even if you don’t get the answers that you wanted
The Important Bits
There is no doubt that religion has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to a lot of issues in our society, but the fact that religion has a universal theme of love and charity, begs the thought of what is not a more act of love and/or charity than being a surrogate? No matter what, finding what works for you in finding the balance between your religious beliefs and surrogacy is uniquely up to you. Just remember to be honest and communicate your needs as you navigate your surrogacy journey.