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Dear Gramps,

I have a history of depression and have been taking medication since 2002. I also have a history of brain cancer and chemotherapy.  This caused me to go into a peri-menopause state at 24 years old. I am now 40 and have accepted that I can’t have children. A recent change in my medication opened some kind “door” through which the Holy Ghost has sent a somewhat disturbing message. It seems that God wants me, via in vitro fertilization, to have a child. Without a husband/father and below-poverty income, the cost of such a procedure terrifies me. I know God can make it happen (e.g. Sarah bearing Isaac at 90).  If He truly wishes it to be so.  I don’t know if you can help me but I know of nowhere else to turn. Please let me know anything you can.

Diane

 

Answer

 

Diane,

I’m so sorry that you have had to go through this. For so many women, not having the ability to have children can be heartbreaking.

Now to the issue of your question. You have mentioned the possibility of in vitro fertlization without a husband/father. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing.

However, the Church does have some guidelines and policies in place regarding this. In the Church Handbook of Instructions it says:

“The Church strongly discourages in vitro fertilization using semen from anyone but the husband or an egg from anyone but the wife. However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the judgment of the husband and wife. Responsibility for the decision rests solely upon them.”

The Handbook also has this to say about artificial insemination:

“Artificial insemination of single sisters is not approved. Single sisters who deliberately refuse to follow the counsel of Church leaders in this matter are subject to Church discipline.”

While the policies are regarding two separate procedures, the church has always strongly stated that voluntarily bringing children into the world should be done between a man and a woman who are married to each other and can provide for the financial and emotional needs of the children.

Besides the cost ($13,000 average per cycle in the U.S.), the entire process can be extremely grueling even for one with an exceptional mental state and certainly not for one faint of heart. According to the CDC, the success rate for women over 40 successfully having a baby using the IVF method of reproduction is 12%. This procedure takes a support system of spouse, friends and family.

You mentioned Sarah and the bearing of Isaac. Having a child at the age of 90 is truly a miracle. Keep in mind, however, that Sarah and Abraham were husband and wife when Isaac was born. Isaac was born to parents who were covenanted to each other within the bounds of marriage.

I do worry that your recent thoughts may be stemming from a new medication reaction and not necessarily words from God through the Holy Ghost. It runs contrary to all that we have learned through our church leaders regarding marriage, family and children.

I would highly recommend consulting with your Bishop regarding this before moving ahead with your decision. Let him guide and counsel you in this decision.

I wish you the best as you consider this.

Gramps

 

 

 

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