Is Surrogacy a Biblical Way to Have a Baby?

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Surrogacy is a popular subject within the Christian community as well as outside the Christian community. There are many Christians who believe it is perfectly fine to have a baby via surrogacy, and there are other Christians who take the opposite view.

With the differing views among Christians, we need to turn to the Bible. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; however, the Bible contains the truth.

The First Surrogacy

The first surrogacy found in the Bible is in Genesis 16. Abraham and Sarah are the first parents who use a surrogate mother in order to have a child. Sarah was unable to have children, so she had her servant, Hagar, become the surrogate mother of her child.

Abraham was still the father: however, the true mother of this child was not Sarah but rather Hagar. Despite Hagar only following orders from Sarah, Sarah became extremely mad at Hagar and beat her. It went as far as Hagar running away from Sarah.

Hagar ran away with her son and was prepared to die. God comforts Hagar, and Hagar eventually returns with her son to Abraham and Sarah. From this first account of surrogacy in the Bible, we can see just how much pain it can cause.

Instead of being happy over the child, Sarah was enraged despite it being her own idea. While surrogacy doesn't occur today as the result of a husband being intimate with another woman, the principle is still there.

While there are many Christians who opt for surrogacy if they cannot have their own children, one has to recognize the pain it can cause. One cannot condemn another person for having surrogacy; however, it is possible to cause friction at one point or another.

From the viewpoint of the woman who cannot have the child, it can cause her great pain to know that she cannot be the one who carries her child. Many of us may shrug over this, but for others, it can cause great heartbreak and ache.

If you're considering surrogacy, you need to make sure you think over this topic immensely. It is perfectly fine to take your time and think about this decision. It will be a decision that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

Couple praying together over Bible

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Bear Fruit and Multiply

Nowhere in the Bible does God directly forbid surrogacy; however, as we can see from Genesis 16, it can cause problems. When a husband and wife get married, they become one flesh. If they have any children, it will be the two of them who are the parents.

This is how God designed the family relationship to be — one mother and one father. When there is a surrogate mother involved, it means there is an additional third person in the scenario.

As we can see from the Bible, marriage is to be between one man and one woman — not a man and two women. Anything outside of this union goes against God’s design for marriage.

If we look from the surrogate mother's perspective, we can see things differently also. I have had many friends who have had children, and while they were pregnant, they were already building a strong relationship with their unborn baby.

One of my friends used to read bedtime stories to her unborn baby and could feel him kick when she read. These are all ways a baby is already building a deep bond with their mother.

It would be hard to fathom that the surrogate mother wouldn't build some sort of motherly bond with the child since it would be her own child growing inside her for nine months.

Going further, even if the surrogate mother changed her mind and wanted to keep the baby, she couldn't. Due to the law, she would have to give the baby to the man and woman who wanted to have the child.

Who knows how much pain a surrogate mother would feel the moment after she delivers a baby, just for a nurse to take it away, and she will never see the baby again. 

It has to be heartbreaking for the surrogate mother, even if she has been a surrogate mother many times. There are many ethical problems surrounding this that can cause great pain and problems for everyone involved, including the baby.

Even though there is a lot of dialogue around having babies, if a couple cannot have a baby, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them. The woman may be struggling with infertility issues, but there is nothing wrong with her from a spiritual perspective or the alternative choices to have children.

Many individuals try to use the Old Testament out of context to try to claim the woman is struggling with a sin problem, and that's why she can't have children. This couldn't be further from the truth. Some women simply cannot have children.

There is not an underlying "sin problem." Instead of condemning the woman for not being able to have a child, it is best to be encouraging and supportive.

More likely than not, the woman wanted to have a baby, only to find out that she cannot have a baby. This in and of itself can be heartbreaking, especially for a woman who wanted to build a family.

While many people may point her in the direction of surrogacy, this might not be the best idea. As established, it can cause unfixable pain, anguish, and disaster.

Rather than opting for surrogacy, consider the idea of adoption. Adoption is a big decision, just like surrogacy is, but adoption doesn't come with all the pain and heartbreak that surrogacy can involve.

The Bible doesn't directly condemn surrogacy; however, in the Bible, we do see that adoption is encouraged and biblical. In fact, when we become believers, we are adopted into the family of God.

Despite the fact that we are not Israel, God brings us into His family as His adoptive sons and daughters. This is a beautiful truth for all believers across the globe. Even though we might look different from one another, we are all adopted children of our God.

If you choose to adopt rather than use a surrogate, this is a biblical alternative. There are thousands of children who need a home and a loving family.

While these children are not technically your own flesh and blood, you have the opportunity to love them just as God chooses to love us as adoptive children. In this way, the love of God can be modeled in your actions and in your own family life.

A tiny baby, CNN Blasted as Propaganda for Claiming ‘It’s Not Possible’ to Know Sex at Birth

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What Does This Mean?

Thus, surrogacy is not directly said to be unbiblical in the Bible, but it can cause a lot of problems. If you are struggling to have children, you can choose to either keep trying or consider adoption.

Reflect on all of these decisions and turn to the Lord in prayer. Make sure to include Him in any decision you make and ask Him for guidance.

For further reading:

Can Christians Biblically Choose Not to Have Children?

What Responsibility Do Parents Have in Raising Children?

What Does the Bible Mean by Children of God?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/AndreyPopov

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

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