Is Artificial Insemination OK?

Q. Much, much praise for your invaluable website.

What are your thoughts on sperm donors? If a woman’s husband is infertile, could she be inseminated with a donor’s sperm? I’m thinking that it’s not necessarily sinful because the act of sex is not actually involved…also, what about an unmarried woman who decides she wants to have a child on her own and gets inseminated? It’s the sperm of someone she’s not married to, but sex isn’t involved.

A. The Lord delegated the process of procreation to married couples only . One purpose was for them to multiply and fill the Earth. Later another was added and that was to maintain the chain of inheritance for the land. In this second instance He made provision for a woman to produce a male heir even if her husband died prematurely. The dead husband’s brother married her to father a child with his former sister-in-law. Their child became the dead husband’s heir. (Deut. 25:5-6)

There are also cases of surrogate motherhood, such as Hagar for Sarah (Genesis 16:3-4), and Rachael’s hand maiden Bilhah for her. (Genesis 30:3) Both of these involved plural marriage.

The point is that God allowed this for the purpose of building a family within a marriage. I don’t see any difference between that and artificial insemination for a married couple. But I think a single person is a different story. God always intended for children to have both mother and father.

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