French archbishop criticizes ‘rent-a-womb’ practice

.- In a press release issued on Monday about the practice of “rent-a-womb,” the president of the French Bishops’ Council for Family and Social Matters, Archbishop Jean-Charles Descubes said, “The starting of a family by a couple does not depend exclusively on the birth of a child.”

In his statement entitled, “Right to a child or right of a child?,” Archbishop Descubes said that while “the suffering of couples who cannot have a child should not be ignored,” it is necessary to keep in mind that when considering this issue, “three kinds of maternity are mixed together and at the same time separate: that of the person who donates the ovum, that the one who receives it, and that of the one who carries it.  This separation creates bonds of ‘social intimacy’ until now unknown.  It is different from adoption, which is a response to a situation that already exists.”

He questioned the idea of a woman making herself an instrument for “carrying” someone else’s baby and noted that during pregnancy a woman establishes a strong bond with the child in her womb as she realizes she has become the child’s mother.  “She is not a nest or an incubator.  Numerous unconscious, affective and unique factors link the mother to her child and vice versa,” the archbishop said.

He went on to note that modern society “thinks that science can control all suffering and always has the last word.” “By renting somebody else’s womb are we not making the birth of a child the instrument for resolving the problem of sterility in an illusory way?” the archbishop asked.

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