My husband and I have accumulated a great deal of debt. We know that the Mormon Church counsels its members to get out of debt and stay out. The Church also advises families that the mother should stay in the home and raise her children. My husband and I also agree it is best for me to be home and raise the children instead of me working to help us pay off our debts. We are considering surrogacy as a means for me to bring in some money without my being away from our children. Although we know that in the Church’s handbook it says surrogacy is “strongly discouraged,” we feel stuck between these un-ideal situations (all of which are discouraged by the church). Even though we are concerned about the potential confusion surrogacy may cause for our children (ages 5 and 2), we feel that it would be more detrimental for them to have me go to work full time or to have my husband work a second job, in which case, they would hardly ever see their daddy. Our utmost concern is doing what is best for our family. We also believe strongly in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints and its leaders. We want to do what is right. Can you help us with some perspective?
I heartily agree that whenever possible the mother of young children should stay in the home rather than to turn the raising of her children over some day care center. The younger the child, the more intense is the learning function, so it is important that, where possible, the mother should stay in the home. If the wife must work to produce necessary income for the family, of course working in the home is highly preferable to working away from home. From the tone of your letter, you seem to be of the opinion that surrogacy is the only way a mother at home could earn any money. I would agree that it may be the easiest way, but it is certainly not the ONLY way. Further, I detect an in incongruity in the statements in your question. You recognize that the Church Handbook states that surrogacy is “strongly discouraged,” and you also state that you believe strongly in the Church and in its leaders. If both those statements are true in your case, your question has been answered! I can find absolutely no justification for doing anything that is strongly discouraged by the official representatives of our Heavenly Father. Your letter sounds, again, as if there were no other means than surrogacy to earn money in the home. Look around a little, and find some way to bring in some income without negating your covenant to sustain the prophets, seers and revelators chosen by God to lead, guide and direct His faithful children.