Is Sperm Bank Use Permissible?

Bearded adult man praying to God sitting at home in the sunbeam. A Muslim or Christian raises his hands to God. Crossed hands in prayer gesture close up

Rev. Robert Fleischmann, National Director, Christian Life Resources

1. A common method of sperm retrieval involves a violation of the sixth commandment (masturbation with the assistance of pornography).

2. Many ethical and practical issues are the same here as with surrogate parenting. A review of surrogate parenting material would be appropriate.

3. Sperm banks raise valid social and legal concerns re: paternal rights, the rights of children to know their parents, transmission of diseases, and checkered past of mismanagement resulting in mistaken insemination of sperm.

I reject the argument that sperm banks presume for humans the authority of God. The role of God in the life-giving process extends far beyond the comparatively minuscule tasks of mixing sperm and egg together. The statistical information on the thousands of sperm that never can penetrate the egg’s shell alone suggests that God has never deserted his life-giving functions. While some have allowed technology to suggest that God’s miracles are explainable, even agnostic medical pioneers in these fields develop a growing sense of awe and respect over the complexity and miraculous nature of the procreative process.

God’s prerogative to author and terminate life is not subordinate to our activities. The virgin Mary was an example in which God did not wait for sexual relations to begin life. People use a wide variety of fertility techniques and birth control devices and nevertheless are still subject to the will of God as to when life begins and ends. Medical advances represent blessings for us to manage. When we exercise that management with the proper motives and understanding of God’s will there is no usurpation of God’s authority. When, however, we have the attitude that God made a mistake with us in making us infertile, or that life is trivial and subordinate to our own desires, we cross that line.

It is not wrong to desire the blessing of children as we also desire the blessing of a nice home, a good job, a friendly and Christ-centered church, good friends, etc. While we pursue these other blessings we carefully watch our steps so that we do not violate the principles of God in the process. So also should we carefully watch our step when seeking the blessing of children. We should ask ourselves: Are my motives God-pleasing? Will the techniques pursued compromise God’s value in human life? In the end, will this effort be done to give God the full glory?


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