IVF and Christianity
The attitude toward reproductive practice varies among Christian groups. While assisted reproduction is not accepted by the Vatican, it may be practiced by Protestant, Anglican and other denominations.
The Vatican approach
According to traditional Christian views, beginning at conception, the embryo has moral status as a human being, and thus most assisted reproductive technologies are forbidden. The Vatican has a clear position against assisted reproduction, ever since 1956, Pop Pius XII, defined artificial fecundation as immoral and illegal, because it affects human lives by separating procreation and sexual normal function. Therefore modern medical techniques used in assisted reproduction like: IVF, ET, surrogate mothers and embryo cryopreservation are not accepted by the Catholic Church.. The Catholic Church offers its protection to the human being starting with its first seconds of existence: It considers the zygote as persons and strongly disapproves research on any type of human embryos.
Eastern Orthodox Church
It was created in 1054 C after the Great Schism which divided Christianity in two: the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. This church is not as strict as the Roman Catholic Church, allowing medical and surgical treatment of infertility but it is against IVF, assisted reproductive technologies, Surrogacy, donor sperm insemination and embryo donation.
The Protestant Church
Protestantism resulted chiefly from the Reformation, a religious and political movement that began in Europe in 1517. Most Protestants live in Europe, and North America. The Protestant churches accept traditional treatment of infertility: assisted reproductive technologies are partially accepted only when the gametes are from married couple and when the procedure avoids damage to the preembryo. Sperm donation and oocyte donation are prohibited.
During the Reformation of 1500, the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church. Anglican Church is the state religion of the United kingdom. Anglicanism spread as the British colonists settled in North and South America, Africa and Asia. Anglicans often view themselves as a bridge church between Roman Catholics and Protestants.
Assisted reproduction technology was developed in the UK and Australia, where the Anglican Church prevails. The Anglican Church is more liberal on the use of IVF/ET and allows semen collection by masturbation for artificial insemination by the husband for IVF, but it forbids the use of gamete donor, semen and oocyte from a third party. Gamete donation and surrogacy are prohibited.
Other Churches like:
Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Mormon, Presbyterian, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Mennonites
These churches have more liberal attitudes to the traditional infertility workup and treatments. All of them accept IVF with spouse's gametes and no embryo wastage.
This Church has no objection of Artificial insemination of husband but oppose IVF because of the use of medication and surgical techniques.
Gamete donation and surrogacy are prohibited.