For several years there was debate among orthodox Catholic moral theologians about the morality of embryo adoption. After much time and prayerful consideration, the Church spoke definitively on the matter in the document Dignitatis Personae, written in 2008 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It gives moral guidance on the many new medical procedures available to people today, including embryo adoption (which was determined to be illicit). The full text of the document can be read at the link above.
Many years ago, when it appeared that the Church was going to approve of embryo adoption for married couples, I was advised that it was licit, even heroic, for my husband and me to do so. We then adopted three frozen embryos from a friend of mine, a young mother of five, who was dying of pancreatic cancer. Shortly after she died, all three embryos perished in the thaw–on March 30, 2002. It was a day of great sadness, I can tell you. That sadness was turned into great joy when on March 30, 2003 (one year to the day!), our daughter Cecilia was born, and we adopted her from China the following year.
So as not to confuse anyone, I have removed from my website the series of articles I wrote about our embryo adoption while it was taking place.There is great freedom to be found in the teaching authority of the Church. And as one friend put it, “A river without levees is a flood.” As a Katrina survivor, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the levees.
It’s not easy to be obedient in the matter of faith and morals when it costs you a great deal, but how beautiful is the gift of our freedom when it is given to God in trusting love. He will never be outdone in generosity! Just look at that smile…