Volume 14, Issue 4, Winter 2014
A Thomistic Analysis of Embryo Adoption
Although two documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have given instruction on the moral problems of artificial reproductive technologies and the importance of respecting the lives of cryopreserved embryos, no definitive judgment has been made regarding the possibility of rescuing those embryos by means of embryo transfer into the uterus of a willing woman. This essay offers an analysis of the morality of embryo transfer in light of the ethical principles of St. Thomas Aquinas and argues that the proper use of our generative potential is only safeguarded by being restricted to marital intercourse. The arguments of those who favor the adoption model are considered and rejected in light of a Thomistic analysis of the categories of paternity, maternity, and filiation. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 673–695.