What is the official position of the Catholic Church with regard to in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

There is a whole mess of problems with IVF, and some techniques are worse than others. Some, for example, collect the germ cells from the wrong people (i.e., who are not married to each other) or collect them in a morally illicit manner. Some also produce large numbers of children who are either allowed to die or who are frozen indefinitely.

The least objectionable version would be homologous (married-couple) IVF where the germ cells are collected from married parents in a morally licit manner and everything is done to protect the life of the child or children thus conceived. However, even this form of IVF is immoral.

In its instruction Donum Vitae, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) explains that “the Church remains opposed from the moral point of view to homologous in vitro fertilization. Such fertilization is in itself illicit and in opposition to the dignity of procreation and of the conjugal union, even when everything is done to avoid the death of the human embryo.”

The CDF also notes, “Although the manner in which human conception is achieved with IVF and ET [embryo transplant] cannot be approved, every child who comes into the world must in any case be accepted as a living gift of the divine goodness and must be brought up with love.”