Is donating eggs or sperm considered a sin? Would God approve of egg donation, sperm banks, etc.?
Since egg and sperm donation are modern practices only made possible via recent medical technology, the Bible does not mention them by name. Nevertheless, there are similar instances in the Bible which give us insight into how God would feel about such activities.
Sperm Donation or Egg Donation a Sin?
In the Bible, God put Onan to death for not doing his duty of impregnating his deceased brother’s wife. Instead, Onan spilled his “seed” on the ground.
And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
In the Old Testament, it was common practice for a man to take the wife of a deceased brother and give her offspring to carry on the legacy of the deceased brother. Onan was supposed to raise up offspring for his brother, but he refused to do this by withdrawing during sexual intercourse and spilling his semen on the ground. This angered God so much that He put Onan to death.
What we can learn from this account is that God is greatly concerned with the parental identity in relation to a child. If God became so angry because Onan didn’t raise up children for his brother, would God not also be angry with people frivolously donating sperm or eggs, often to people they will never even know? Your lineage and your offspring are of great importance to God. In fact, have you ever noticed how many times the Bible goes into exhaustive details concerning a person’s lineage?
The Bible tells us that the whole point of sexual intercourse and marriage is to create Godly offspring:
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Another similar issue in the Bible is that of Sarah wanting Abraham to lay with her maid servant (Hagar). Sarah wanted Abraham to do this so he could have an heir. Abraham agreed to take Hagar as his wife, and she conceived Ishmael. The result was that Ishmael became a nation (the Arabs) . This nation has had much conflict with the Jews (descendants of Abraham and Isaac), and it remains so even to this day.
This incident was clearly a disobedient act on the part of Abraham, as he was not trusting in God to deliver his heir, but instead he tried to fix things himself in his own timing by producing an heir with another woman. It never pays to take matters into our own hands. We must wait on God’s timing and God’s will.
Given the two scriptural examples above, it becomes clear that God is greatly concerned with our offspring’s identity and parental relationship. For this reason, donating sperm or eggs would be a sin, and Christians should not engage in such activity.
Furthermore, God clearly shows us in His Word that He is the one who opens and closes the womb of a woman. If a woman cannot conceive, it is because God has willed that she cannot conceive, for whatever reason He chose to do so:
For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.
But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
1 Samuel 1:5
It can be very difficult for some women when they realize they may not be able to have children, or may have to try to conceive many years before they are successful. Nevertheless, God can know things we can’t know, and see things we can’t see. His ways are above our ways. And as hard as it may be, a woman must place her total trust in God concerning her ability to bear children.
Children are a blessing from God, and if a couple cannot have their own child, then perhaps they should consider adopting. There are countless kids with no parents who would love to be adopted. There is no sin in taking in a child in need and giving them a home.
Children are the result of the husband and wife becoming one flesh (literally). Half of the mother and half of the father join together (each donating chromosomes) and create one soul, and the Bible often indicates the importance, blessings, and sacredness of the act of having a child within the context of a marriage. It is God’s gift to humanity, and in the act of creating a child we express the ultimate form of love.
Have you accepted Christ as your savior? If not, I urge you to do so right now.