The End of Fatherhood?

David Kotter
May 2, 2008

“Same-sex couples could create children” reads a recent headline in the London Telegraph online, and it could not be more serious. The article reports that last month international leaders in embryology research asked the British government for permission to allow babies to be conceived using “artificial” sperm and eggs.  They are developing a technique which uses embryonic cells from an adult man or woman to grow artificial sperm in a laboratory.  These manufactured gametes could then be used to create a human pregnancy through in vitro fertilization.  This scientific procedure has been used to create pregnancies in mice, and is expected to take only 10 years of refinement to prepare for human use.  Whether it takes more or less than a decade, the scientists are confident that this will be a reality.

In short, this would allow two women to produce a child without any intervention whatsoever from a man.  One of the women would donate a cell which would be transformed into an artificial sperm and used to fertilize an egg from the other woman.  Either could carry the baby to term.  The child would be their biological descendent with no male contribution required at any level. For the first time in history, fathers would be completely optional in procreation.  For some, the realization of utopian dreams seems to be in sight, and the experts “called on ministers not to restrict such ‘important’ research.”

The process would be only slightly less convenient for two men to create a biological child of their own.  In that case, they would need to hire a “gestational carrier” and rent her womb to carry their baby to term.  Women in the United States, India and other countries around the world are increasingly willing to provide this feminine service.

Where does this research stop?  The answer is it will never stop.  Human beings, with a sinful nature and driven by pride, will continue to take on the prerogatives in procreation reserved for God himself.  Just because a scientific technique is possible, does not in itself require that it be performed.  Even if society makes it legal, Christians must never take part. 

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3).  It is not an accident of creation that a father and mother are both required for procreation and raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  Unless we hold to biblical authority as a solid rock, there is no end in sight for scientific research.

(HT:The End of Fatherhood? The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)

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