The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 10, Issue 2, Summer 2010

Responses to Dignitas personae - Part II of II

Edward J. Furton
Pages 329-347

Embryo Adoption Reconsidered

The question of embryo adoption remains unresolved. Dignitas personae expresses reservations about the practice, but does not reject it. A proper interpretation of Dignitas personae n. 19 shows that the Vatican does not hold that human embryo adoption is intrinsically immoral, but that the question of its morality depends on the circumstances that surround the practice. Embryo adoption as practiced today is often compromised by illicit cooperation with objectionable reproductive technologies; nonetheless, it is possible to identify a best case scenario which may lessen or even eliminate these concerns. That best case is when a Catholic couple, who have not previously utilized in vitro fertilization to overcome a problem of infertility, adopt an abandoned embryo and choose to raise that child as their own. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 10.2 (Summer 2010): 329–347.