5 Things Christians Should Consider about Surrogacy

The first commandment God gave to His beloved creation was simple: "God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground'” (Genesis 1:28 NIV). But a sin-filled world complicates things, creating gray spaces where God's most basic commands can feel twisted by human wants and desires or manipulated for influencers to make their mark and appease the masses.

Surrogacy seems to be one of these battleground issues in the Christian world. Is it okay for believers to be surrogates for those who can't have children? Is it moral for a Christian couple to start a family by finding a surrogate mother? 

Let's consider five things—the who, what, where, when, and why—regarding this topic, discussing where we can find God's truth amid the dodgy debates: 

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Who did God give this commandment to? Who was told to be fruitful and multiply? It was Adam and Eve—I believe there is deep significance in this three-letter word. It connects man and woman just as God connected them from the foundation of the world. Eve was created from Adam, formed by his rib. They were made to know each other intimately, by which husband and wife know each other today as a means of emotional and physical connection and child-bearing.

God designed children to come from this physical bond that He created for Adam and Eve, man and woman, husband and wife. No other method, means, or creature was offered as an option or substitute.

Yet surrogacy seems to be the substitute, a man-made option when our family unit isn't fulfilling our hopes and dreams. It pulls away the "and" God originally established, the emotional and physical connection He founded to bring children into this world. Surrogacy quietly says, "I don't have time to wait for God's plan. Rather, I can take matters into my own hands. After all, I know what I want, and I know what's best for me and my family." 

Consider Sarah, Abraham's wife (then Sarai and Abram). She believed she knew what was best, commanding that Abraham produce a child for her through their maidservant, Hagar (Genesis 16:1-2). She wasn't convinced God would fulfill His promise and grant her a child in her old age. Yet, God blessed Abraham and Sarah with a child (Genesis 21:1), but along the way, she grew jealous of Hagar and kicked her and Hagar's child, Ishmael, out of the family. People were left broken, abandoned, unwanted. And that was never God's plan.

Meanwhile, surrogacy muddies the waters of "who" can have children. It opens the door for women, including Christian women, to carry children for couples who aren't living in a God-honoring union, like homosexual couples or a man and woman who aren't united in marriage.

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What did God use to fulfill His command to fill the earth? He used a union that was not only ordained by God but subdued to His will. 

Of course, Adam and Eve weren't married in the traditional celebrations we know today. Eve wasn't in a white dress, and Adam certainly wasn't wearing a tuxedo. No pastor was standing at the end of the aisle reciting an unwritten 1 Corinthians 13. But they were vowed to each other in a deeper, richer way; they were united by God's voice. His beautiful, gracious, creative plan wove them together with an eternal fabric that (before the fall) was meant to welcome children into an unshakeable, unchanging family dynamic.

Today, we know God as the Great Physician, our Healer. He takes what's broken and pieces it back together. He leaves no stone unturned, no grain of sand unaccounted for. He is thorough in seeing that things are healed, whole, and returned to operating in the state He originally intended. He wants children born into a whole, completed, God-established family unit, and while surrogates can birth a baby who is then presented to a married Christian couple, it leaves the surrogate behind.

The emotional connection she felt while carrying the baby, the physical marks the baby will forever leave on her body, are no longer honored when her sacrifice is done and time marches on. Her body is broken and her soul is ripped when this child is no longer hers. When we ignore "what" God commanded that we use–a whole, unified, no-one-left-out bond between man and wife—we are sure to muddy the waters and hurt others along the way.

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Where are we commanded to be fruitful and multiply? In the intimate, secret places known only to a husband and wife. Paul expounds on this answer in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 when he explains the duty of sexual relations between a married couple. Now, this Scripture isn't given for one party to control the other but to remind man and wife that sexual connection is self-giving. It is vulnerable. At times, it is sacrificial. And there is a reward in those confines. 

Often, as people, we want to define those rewards. We want God to bless our marriage bed with children when we want them and how we want them. We want to establish how God blesses us, and when He doesn't meet our timeline and bless us with what we want, and where we are, we easily take matters into our own hands.

This certainly doesn't mean that God can't and won't bless children who are born by surrogacy. His loving nature will never turn a blind eye to a creature with a beating heart and living soul. But we have never been called to drop a pin on the map of our lives, look at God, and demand, "This is where you will bless me."

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When were humans called to procreate? First, we must look at a key component of God's character. He is systematic and orderly. Just look at the way creation operates. The seasons know when to change, and the animals naturally follow their rhythm. The sun never forgets to rise and is never late to set. Our hearts beat and our lungs breathe without our nudging. God is a God of order, and it isn't a controlling, sterile order, but a rhythm that sustains life and allows it to flourish at a most beautiful capacity.

God made no mistake when He first created Adam, then Eve, and then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. In fact, He never once hinted to Adam, "Yes, you can have children, but let me create a helpmate first." He made no mention of child-bearing until Adam and Eve were one unit. 

When we beg God to jump ahead or rearrange His pre-ordained order, we tell Him that He doesn't know what's best, that He doesn't know what's up the road in the next few years, that He doesn't know who we could become if we would have patience and wait on His timing and abide by His methods.

Surrogacy ensues a power struggle, which was Adam and Eve's downfall in the Garden. We unknowingly follow in their footsteps and return to our sinful roots by whispering to our souls, "I know me. I know all things about me. I know what's best."

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Why were humans told to have children? It goes back to why we are called to anything—to give God glory, to follow in His footsteps of ushering in life how He sees fit. We were never created to fulfill ourselves but to find our fulfillment through imitating our Creator. We were designed to honor His order, even if His ways seem unconventional, slow, agonizing, or anything opposite of what we believe would work best for us.

God is the endgame. He will see that hope and life and light and love have their perfect way. Why? Because He is those things. And He is a God who never backs out on promises and never leaves us empty. It's up to us to trust that our empty hands and empty bellies aren't the end of our story and that something beautiful is ahead because we believe in a God who established our paths and claimed them good long before we entered the world.

Surrogacy is complicated. It's full of gray areas and human ideas and Scripture that, in theory, could be argued by both sides. But the more I look at the core of why we are created and who we are to live for, the more I am convinced that nature groans for its Creator and longs to honor Him. But that longing and restoration require us to trust God's timing and believe that His dreams are more fulfilling than anything we could create on our own.

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