Surrogacy and IVF in Islam: What is Allowed and What is Prohibited?
Everyone is aware that Islam is a strict, conservative and traditional religion, and with the advancements in medical technology, many ethical and religious questions have arisen regarding various medical procedures. In this article, we will delve into the Islamic perspective on assisted reproductive technologies (ART), specifically in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy.
IVF in Islam: Rules and Regulations
According to Islam, the desire to have children is natural, and the Koran states that "offspring and wealth" are the decorations of human life. ART is not explicitly mentioned in the initial sources of Sharia law, but it promotes treatments when pregnancy or childbirth is not successful, especially since adoption is not accepted. The doctor's responsibility is to help infertile couples achieve their goal through successful fertilization and childbirth.
Islam allows all types of ART, but with strict conditions and rules, which are approved by religious and legal laws and described in the code of Islamic medical ethics. Assistive technologies can only be used for medical reasons after a diagnosis of infertility has been established. Using IVF just to avoid the "worries" of pregnancy and childbirth is not allowed. Only married couples approved by Sharia law can seek help, and sperm and eggs can only be used if provided by a legally married couple. The use of third-party biological material is prohibited, and in vitro fertilization for single women and homosexual couples is strictly prohibited.
Islam permits the freezing of fertilized embryos, but only the same couple can use them if they are still married. Frozen sperm or eggs can be used before receiving chemotherapy, but it is forbidden to use them after divorce or death.
Surrogacy in Islam: A Controversial Topic
In Islamic tradition, bringing a child into the world is a highly significant event, and surrogacy, often referred to as "leasing a womb," is considered taboo in a vast majority of Muslim nations. This is due to the belief that the biomaterial of a man, to whom the surrogate is not married, is received by the surrogate and is regarded as a sinful act. The Koran explicitly states that "nobody can be their mother except the woman who gave birth to them."
In the past, a fatwa allowing surrogacy was issued by the Islamic Council of Scholars of Mecca, but only if the embryo is fully owned by the spouses, and the surrogate mother only carries the child. However, a year later, it was canceled and sent for revision due to the Koran stating that every baby has the right to identify their parents and surrogacy services causing confusion in this matter.
Iran is an exception to the rule, allowing surrogate motherhood without any commercial benefit for the surrogate mother and only for medical reasons and officially married spouses, along with gamete donation.
Islam is supportive of IVF treatment but with its own rules and regulations. While the stance on surrogacy varies among Muslim countries, it is important to understand the religious and cultural beliefs of individuals and families who may be seeking such treatments.
At Delivering Dreams International Surrogacy Agency, we respect and understand the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of our clients and strive to provide them with all the necessary information and support to make informed decisions that align with their values. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring a safe and successful journey toward building a family through IVF and surrogacy services. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joys of parenthood, and we are honored to be a part of making that dream a reality for so many families.