Dignitas Personae and Embryo Adoption: A New Chill Factor?


The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s Dignitas personae does not offer a definitive rejection of the practice of human embryo adoption as intrinsically evil, but neither does it simply leave the matter an “open question.” The document does indeed oppose the practice, but its reasons for doing so are not clearly stated and seem to be in tension with its own affirmations of the personal dignity of embryos and the goodness of adoption. The Congregation’s opposition is therefore best read as a prudential judgment that embryo adoption cannot be justified in the present circumstances due to the potential for scandal and the cooperation with the fertility industry which it involves.

Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/ncbq201010255

Grabowski, J.S., and C. Gross. 2010. Dignitas Personae and the adoption of frozen embryos: A new chill factor? The National Catholics Bioethics Quarterly 10(2): 307–328.