"When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or I'll die!'" (Genesis 30:1).
Every infertile couple who wants children understands Rachel's emotions and words. Here are a few options for husbands and wives who face infertility and a desire for children:
1. Artificial insemination. In this procedure, the woman's ovulation is regulated by medication in order to help. The man's sperm is taken. Any defective sperm is removed so that it will not hinder good sperm from reaching its target. Then the sperm is inserted artificially into the woman's womb. This often works well. However, after several attempts, it did not work for Janet and myself.
2. In vitro fertilization. In this procedure, the woman's eggs are taken from her body and fertilized with the man's sperm. Then the children are placed in the womb with the hope of implantation and growth.
This option has a few ethical concerns, but it can be done without violating one's pro-life ethics.
The primary concern centers on what to do with unused embryos that have been made but never implanted. In order to avoid unused embryos, a couple can limit the number of eggs to be fertilized. Also, a couple should not implant more embryos than the mother can safely carry so that the physician does not attempt to talk the mother and father into aborting some of the children.
Finally, if a couple has embryos that they cannot implant, they can place those embryos for adoption through the Snowflakes Adoption Program at www.nightlight.org/snowflakeadoption.htm.
Janet and I did not attempt in vitro fertilization because of the ethical concerns, the cost (which was not covered by our insurance), and the failure rate.
3. Adoption. This was the best option for us. We used (and highly recommend) Christian Services of Oklahoma (http://www.christian-adoption.org/). Janet told our story about the adoption process on my blog at http://adisciplesthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/05/hope-fulfilled.html.
Thanks for reading. I hope this helps a couple going through infertility.