01 Jul Biblical Stand on Pregnancy, IVF and Adoption
Biblical Stand on Pregnancy, IVF and Adoption
Problems of infertility (from medical viewpoint)
- A couple is deemed as infertile when both are having normal unprotected intercourse for a year or more without conceiving a child.
- States: 10% of population; Singapore: 15% of population
- 35% due to men (E.g. Low sperm count, low quality of sperm); 35% due to women (Ovulation dysfunction, damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, aging); 20% combination issues; 10% unknown reasons.
*** How much to believe? How to make sense of this data?
<Proverbs 30:15-16>: There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’: the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’
<Ps 127:3-5>: Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him…. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
1. Negative and positive standpoint with regards to fertility issue
* Negative standpoint
- <Gen 20:17-18> the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
- <Gen 16:2>: Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children.
- <1 Sam 1:5-6,18>: But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her because the Lord had closed her womb… She said: May your servant find favor in your eyes. Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
* Positive standpoint
- <Gen 17:16>: God said to Abraham, “I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
- <Gen 21:2>: “Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which the Lord had spoken.”
- <Gen 25:21>: And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived”.
- <Ruth 4:13>: So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.
- <1 Sam 1:19-20> went on to talk about Hannah, and it says, “The Lord remembered her.” Though He had shut her womb, He remembered her. “And after she had conceived, she bore a son, and called his name Samuel.
Spiritual truths to hold on to in infertility:
1) Its the Lord Himself who closes and opens the womb
- The more we trust medical intervention, the lesser we will witness supernatural intervention.
2) Many women whose wombs were closed were very blessed women with great plans of God to be fulfilled through them. E.g. Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth.
- God is emphasizing:
(1) God has His time for that special, long awaited child we hope for
(2) God might want us to understand something about His will which we have been blind to
(3) God might want to fulfill something more glorious thru our pregnancy (Got to do with saving an Era)
(4) Even if we’re without a child, God can heal our heart such that we will not live in misery and regret if we do right.
2. Reproductive Medical Intervention – IVF (In vitro fertilization), commonly known as test tube baby.
- Science has very little regard for morality when it is pushing its limits.
- Yet, only biblical morality draws the line clearly between what is right and wrong before God.
- In Singapore, IVF is heavily subsidized. Highly subsidized for 3 tries.
1) Process of IVF
- Woman take fertility drugs – stimulate the development of extra eggs in the ovaries.
- Retrieved eggs brought into a lab to combine with sperm, under controlled environment.
- Fertilization took place. Human egg cell, called embryo is formed. Usually more than the required eggs are fertilized.
- One or two of the healthiest embryos (chosen by the doctors) are transferred to the mother’s uterus after 3-5 days of observation.
** Ask critically: When does life begin? Is that embryo a living thing? The Bible states clearly: Life begins at conception (when the egg meet the sperm).
2) What is controversial about IVF?
(1) What is going to happen to the frozen embryo?
(2) Is freezing and thawing process of the embryos (which is likely to die) ethical?
(3) Is the act of choosing the healthier embroys to be implanted into the woman’s uterus a form of playing God?
(4) Emotional impact of a failed IVF cycle on the parents (esp the mother).
<Psalm 139:13-14> says clearly: “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.
- The mother’s womb is the safest place to fertilize and grow an unborn child.
3. Facing the struggles of infertility?
1) Understand its a “Redemptive History” now.
2) Consider Adoption.
* Adoption, to a certain extent is the heart of the Gospel.
- <Rn 8:15> but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!
- A word of caution to prevent unwanted pregnancy… If unfortunately it happens, do not abort the child, but give it up for adoption.
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? <Mat 6:25-26>.