Seeing God: The Compatibility of Gestational Surrogacy and Texas Baptist Belief

Date

2024

Authors

Cummings, Jia

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Worldwide access

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Abstract

Surrogacy is an ancient practice that allows a woman to carry a child for another couple or individual to rear. Although traditional forms of surrogacy have been documented in biblically, the 1979 invention of in-vitro fertilization has revolutionized reproductive technology, making it possible for surrogate mothers to carry unrelated embryos as “gestational carriers.” Concerns about the moral status of embryos, exploitation of women and their bodies, and the commodification of children have made Christians hesitant to permit these technologies. While various denominations have taken position both in favor and against the use of reproductive technology, the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) has not, despite Texas’s recognition as having some of the most restrictive reproductive laws in the nation. In this thesis, I demystify common Christian concerns about gestational surrogacy, responding with conditions for fertility treatment that are compatible with BGCT beliefs. In affirmation the sanctity of human life and the commitment to reaching those hurt in their struggles with infertility, I argue that ethical practice of gestational surrogacy both agrees with and helps carry out the denominational objectives of the BGCT.

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Keywords

Gestational surrogacy, In vitro fertilization, Assisted reproductive technology, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baptist denomination, Texas, Reproductive health

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