Pope Francis recently called a universal ban on surrogacy, declaring surrogacy “despicable.” But what about actual surrogates who identify with Christianity, another religion, or spirituality in general? How does a surrogate’s religion or spirituality connect to their feelings and beliefs about surrogacy? Let’s consider the perspectives and stories of five surrogates with a religious background or belief system and what they have to say on the matter.
“I am a member of Watts Street, a progressive Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. I identify as a Christian and I cherish the beliefs and practices of following Jesus that guide me, but I have a broad view of a God who is bigger than our mortal understanding. A God who transcends gender, race, culture, or any other limitations we could place on them. I have always believed that anyone trying to do good in the world is worshipping the same God, whether that is through religion, spirituality, or pure intent.
When I told my Sunday School class I was beginning the journey to become a surrogate for two wonderful men, they were all delighted. They celebrate milestones with me and show so much love and support. The church has added my surrogate pregnancy to the prayer roll and everyone, from church leaders to members I haven’t yet met, send me messages of support. As a surrogate, I feel so privileged to be a part of such an intimate and special journey with two people who went from strangers to dear friends. It’s not beyond me that my husband and I are no more deserving of the incredible ability to create life than so many worthy couples [and intended parents] who aren’t able conceive on their own. I thank God, who is both my Heavenly Mother and Father, for a healthy body that can grow new life, for amazing and caring intended parents, for my encouraging husband and family, and for a church that celebrates creating families of all kinds.”
“I thank God, who is both my Heavenly Mother and Father, for a healthy body that can grow new life, for amazing and caring intended parents, for my encouraging husband and family, and for a church that celebrates creating families of all kinds.” – Surrogate Kelly W.
“I have many feelings about recent comments made by my church leader. I work in Catholic ministry at a local college, where everyone has been super supportive of my surrogacy journey to date! Here’s how my spirituality informs my feelings about surrogacy:
“I believe being a surrogate is a pro-life choice to help a family grow. I would argue that possibly MORE love is required of this [surrogacy] baby-making process than the more ‘traditional’ routes.” -Surrogate Laura K.
How beautiful that multiple families make the commitment to bring that life into a loving family! My theology tells me that God is love. Therefore, God is a part of this journey with me, and God is most definitely working collaboratively with all the awesome doctors and science that make surrogacy possible.”
“I have a Buddhist mindset. My beliefs are more rooted in my own personal path and bettering my ‘being’ each lifetime to reach enlightenment. I read in a book called Many Lives Many Masters, “The reward is in the doing, but doing without expecting anything…. Doing unselfishly.” I believe we all need to learn growth in knowing and understanding charity, hope, love, and faith (as in faith in life/experiences/people, not the religious faith). And not just one form of these, but ALL forms and showing them in many different ways. If you ask me, surrogacy is the one experience that can hit on all of these [values].
This way of thinking is very different from many who believe in a god who controls the outcomes of everything. Instead, this kind of mindset requires personal responsibility of outcome, which is unfortunately hard for people to accept as a way of life.
“People who believe in a god who controls everything find surrogacy to be the ultimate threat to [their] belief because it is more logical for them to fit ideas into their belief like, “You weren’t meant to have a baby.” – Surrogate Sarah M.
There are many other illogical things about surrogacy people find threatening, but surrogacy hits a LOT more personally because there is life involved. (Which then, you get into the more philosophical question of when does life begin exactly?) And that, again, is just too big of a threatening question for some people.”
“I was raised very strictly in Christianity, and I was a surrogate who had twins for a gay couple. I’ve never felt like I have any right to judge someone whether I agree with how someone chooses to live their life or not. I’m sure I live my life in a way in which some people don’t approve of. At the end of the day, I believe I am called to love people, not judge them. I believe only God can truly judge anyone and at the end of my life I only have to answer for my actions, not anyone else’s.
“Everyone is entitled to their own belief and beliefs, but I would never agree that having a child, whether my own or as a surrogate, is against God.” -Surrogate Megan K.
I think having a child or children for someone who cannot have them is a truly amazing gift – I would never not have done it for the couple I did just because they live their life differently than mine. Everyone is entitled to their own belief and beliefs, but I would never agree that having a child, whether my own or as a surrogate, is against God.”
“I was raised Catholic. I started teaching CCD [Confraternity of Christian Doctrine] to 7th graders when I mentioned that I had carried a baby for someone who couldn’t have one on her own. Well, my co-teacher wasn’t happy about that and she told on me to the Director of Ministries. They proceeded to tell me that “being a surrogate goes against everything that we Catholics believe in.” I was told that I have to “go apologize to the entire 7th grade class, and tell them that I made a mistake, but that God forgave me, and I would never do it again.” I’m sorry, what!? I flat out told this lady that I don’t care how far up she ranked in the Catholic division…. And told her: “I don’t regret [being a surrogate] for one second. I helped someone become a mom. I brought life into the world. And I will never be sorry for that!” I also said that the God I know, the God that I love and that loves me, would never be upset with what I did. He would be proud of me for what I did, and he loves that little girl that I helped to bring into the world just as much as he loves any other human being that is on this planet. She is also his daughter just like anybody else.
“…The God I know, the God that I love and that loves me, would never be upset with what I did. He would be proud of me for what I did, and he loves that little girl that I helped to bring into the world just as much as he loves any other human being that is on this planet. She is also his daughter just like anybody else.” – Surrogate Jennifer H.
Needless to say, I never went back to CCD to teach. I also never went back to the Catholic Church. If that’s really what Catholics believe, I’m not Catholic anymore. My relationship with God/Jesus has not changed, just the way I view humans in the church has. Some people act like they’re better than the rest of us.”
Thank you so much to surrogates Jennifer, Megan, Kelly, Sarah, and Laura for sharing your stories and perspectives surrounding this sensitive topic about surrogacy and spirituality. Love, religion, spirituality, and surrogacy can go hand-in-hand.
Compiled by Robin Hinson, CFC Communications Coordinator
Have a question or would like to be featured on our blog? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com for questions and comments.
Creative Family Connections as a whole does not subscribe to one religion, spirituality, or belief system. CFC’s team is comprised of team members from various and diverse backgrounds. CFC believes in building families through surrogacy and that everyone can build a family.