Q&A on Egg Donation

Patient couple consulting with doctor or psychologist on family men and women’s medical healthcare therapy

QUESTION: One of my friends is considering using an egg donor, so she and her husband can have a baby. (She has no eggs due to pre-menopause). Do you have suggestions for how I can help them understand more about this or have resources to share? Am I correct that from a Christian perspective, there are serious concerns about egg donation?

ANSWER: My primary concern is the precarious nature of in vitro fertilization. While success stories abound, what is seldom discussed is the number of failed attempts, which are far more abundant. Every failed attempt, where an egg is fertilized but does not survive to implantation, or is lost during the course of a pregnancy, is a lost life. While medicine set out to deny this reality by redefining life to begin now at implantation, the redefinition did not change the reality. Everything that makes each human being unique, and uniquely human, is there at fertilization. The geography may change but that life is a life.

That being said, there are countless embryos cryopreserved as leftovers from other couples who, for whatever reason, decided not to implant their other children. Some who have pursued IVF surrender their embryonic children to science, where they are split open and stem cells are harvested for other experiments. Many have destroyed unused embryos. But a number of well-meaning parents have donated these embryos to adoptive couples. I know a number of couples who have adopted the embryos, having them implanted into their wombs and brought to a full and healthy delivery.

For those unable to conceive, but who have the ability to carry a pregnancy, we suggest that they consider adopting an embryo. The process is referred to as the “Snowflakes Program.” It now runs through an agency called “Night Light.” Here is the link: https://www.nightlight.org/snowflakes-embryo-adoption-donation/



  1. Eggs can be fertilized naturally and fail to implant in a natural unaided cycle – repeatedly. Many women experience repeat chemical pregnancy or repeat implantation failure while trying naturally to conceive. I don’t know why IVF makes this process “worse” or somehow unethical. Just as IVF can fail repeatedly so can natural conception fertilize but fail to implant often or even every month in some medical cases. That seems like an invalid argument to persuade people against doing IVF…..

    • Christian Life Resources : July 27, 2023 at 1:44 pm

      It appears from your comment that you may not have all the accurate information concerning IVF. I will try to provide some clarity or at least a better explanation of the Biblical perspective by commenting on each of your points:

      Eggs can be fertilized naturally and fail to implant in a natural unaided cycle – repeatedly. Many women experience repeat chemical pregnancy or repeat implantation failure while trying naturally to conceive.

      This is absolutely correct. Biologically speaking this happens. The only peculiar thing is that you reference “chemical pregnancy” as if it makes a valued distinction. A “fertilized egg” is a misnomer in that egg fertilization immediately results in something more than an egg with the distinguishing characteristic of being fertilized. Upon fertilization a rapid and dramatic biological change occurs both within this “fertilized egg” and the woman’s body. That “fertilized egg” has its own unique DNA, chromosomes, and begins a growth spurt. Cell division continues exponentially. Meanwhile, these events trigger hormonal changes that serve the single purpose of preparing a woman’s body to carry the child and to care for the child upon birth. Whether that pregnancy (chemical or otherwise) continues to a live delivery or not, these changes provide the scientific evidence that this is more than just the changed status of an egg from unfertilized to fertilized.

      I don’t know why IVF makes this process “worse” or somehow unethical. Just as IVF can fail repeatedly so can natural conception fertilize but fail to implant often or even every month in some medical cases.

      The foundational objection to IVF in the Q & A article we have on egg donation is that it causes the loss of life of children in the embryonic stage. From what you have written, you accept the reality that such life is lost already naturally (without intent or human cause). We would agree.

      Likewise, some lives end naturally for human beings as infants, toddlers, adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and senior citizens. What makes the unnatural end of life a problem is that the “unnatural” part means it was caused by human intervention. Death resulting from reckless driving, abuse, gunshots, stabbings, etc. all represent an offense to the intrinsic value of human life, and an offense to the God who creates all human life (Deuteronomy 32:39). The point of the Q & A article is that the IVF process results in the unnatural taking of human life in the embryonic stage.

      There is also a statistical context the is relevant to this conversation. From the initiation of the IVF process (fertilization of an egg) until a live birth, there is only about a 20% chance of success (https://tinyurl.com/23z447t9 [accessed 7-26-23]). That means that 80% of the time the human life that has begun in a Petri dish, ends.

      If there was a natural end to 80% of the lives naturally fertilized, your point would be valid. Current estimations, however, are that the natural ending of life in the womb is estimated to only be as high as 26% (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532992/ [accessed 7-26-23]). That would suggest that the difference between the 26% and the 80% represents deaths attributable to IVF. As we would not be willing to gamble with those odds with children in Mrs. Johnson’s kindergarten class, so also should we not take those risks with children in the IVF process.

      If IVF could enjoy success comparable to natural fertilization and delivery, it would be an especially valued procedure. As it now stands, the process favors the one wanting the child, and not the children created in the process. That inequity is what we would argue needs addressing.

  2. I absolutely agree that any fertilized egg (natural or in IVF) is now an embryo baby with the potential to grow and become a living child. It’s Life.

    Whether or not the embryo baby implants in a woman’s uterus and becomes a viable pregnancy, resulting in a live birth, depends on many other factors, which truly makes every pregnancy a miracle from God!!!

    No IVF baby, likewise, is born apart from the will of God.

    God could have made the IVF process outside the womb fail, but instead He allowed it to work.

    No embryo inside the womb or outside grows and develops apart from His sustaining Hand if we believe God is the creator & sustainer of all life.

    The “estimate” of naturally fertilized embryos that fail to implant in any given naturally conceived cycle is absolutely impossible for science to put any accurate number on. One study is not enough.

    Only God knows that number.

    I believe it is far far higher than that percentage you noted, also add in thousands of repeat early & late miscarriages which many many women suffer from as well.

    If a woman has repeat chemical pregnancies or miscarriages, which women with infertility often have, that means repeat failure of embryo baby to implant, should she abstain from intercourse?
    Because it’s repeated deaths of babies?

    That’s ridiculous. We would all agree.

    Saying Christians should avoid IVF because embryos could and do die in the process of developing, whether once placed in the womb or stop growing while growing miraculously in a lab dish….and that if the process was more “fool proof” it would then be “okay”……is unconvincing at best.

    IVF is a very pro life process, when conducted ethically by a couple (valuing all embryos, never discarding) where doctors do everything to make conditions conducive to Life. The ultimate outcome as I noted above is always in God’s hands.

    Comparing the deaths of IVF embryos to other “unnatural” deaths caused by murder, stabbings, etc creates dramatic effect but the truth is, in IVF doctors, embryologists and labs are doing everything they can to create the optimal conditions for Life, which is the opposite of devaluing the intrinsic worth of life.

    Life isn’t being created unnaturally in a lab as far as this:…no lab or doctor can make an embryo grow and live. That’s all God.

    Just as can and does happen often in natural conception, embryos stop growing somewhere along the process, for reasons only God knows.

    A woman could continue trying naturally with more dead babies/failed implantation of naturally fertilized embryos and miscarriages… or she could do IVF to correct a medical problem, and go on to have living children through God given doctors and medicine to correct issues.

    It’s interesting that Christians are encouraged to seek medical treatment for cancer or diabetes etc but not for infertility which 99 percent of the time has a medical cause.

    IVF can often bypass or overcome medical issues. Every year more advances increase success rates.

    IVF is a situation not forbidden or commanded and there believers have free will. God could have easily included a Scripture preventing couples from taking any actions in infertility, but He did not.
    It is a situation of…let every man be convinced in his own mind.

    I’m very aware of the IVF process. I’ve researched it a lot.

    I’d caution those against IVF not to use fear tactics.

    It’s fine if that is a personal conviction not to do IVF, it’s just not one we have the right to force on others.

    God judges the heart. I’d love it if all my embryos survived. But as in natural conception some died, so some stopped growing in IVF. I didn’t murder them just as I did not give them life the begin with.

    I think you are putting too much into human hands and effort that belongs to God, and that’s where I strongly disagree.

  3. Just as in natural pregnancy so as in IVF.

    GOD creates and sustains life. Only God can do this. Not humans. Only God makes an embryo grow and develop in a womb or in a dish. Not doctors.

    IVF couples are not murdering or causing deaths of children and to even remotely suggest this is way out of line.

    It’s no woman’s fault if an embryo baby fails to implant or miscarries, just as it’s no couples fault if their embryo fails to grow or survive in a lab.

    IVF is a very pro life process, if you understand it correctly, but just as with natural conception many failures can occur, and ultimately God chooses whether a life begins at all and when it ends.

    Not humans.

    I wonder if this comment will be allowed.

  4. My replies are not being posted (yet) or perhaps not at all….

    I strongly disagree with your reasoning and arguments but perhaps won’t be given a voice here, so I will write elsewhere. Including perhaps a book on IVF for Christians because there are so many misconceptions due to lack of understanding.

  5. A fertilized egg is an embryo. A baby.
    I agree 💯 percent!!!

    Would you not agree God alone creates and also sustains life whether that life is begin in a womb or in a dish? Can doctors unnaturally “create” or sustain life. Ask any fertility doctor. They can’t. They can only optimize conditions.

    God chooses life to begin and an embryo to grow whether in a womb or lab, and also numbers our days including the days of embryos and babies, children and adults.

    God, not humans.

    Our times are in His hands.

    IVF embryos are ultimately only created by Him as He alone gives the gift of life. When embryos die that too is His allowing.
    His taking away, not any parental responsibility.

    Every IVF baby is as much a God ordained life as any other, and any loss He allows for His reasons.

    I disagree with your statements that IVF devalues the worth of life…..FOR the life, growth & survival of all embryos inside or outside are in no Hands but His.

    Passively blaming couples for somehow unnaturally creating then causing loss of a child’s life is putting God’s power in human hands – which simply cannot be done.

    It’s difficult for those against IVF to acknowledge God’s hand in it, but no embryo is created apart from God.

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