The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has issued a statement on the baptism of infants born to surrogate mothers.
After expressing sympathy for spouses struggling with infertility, the
synod cited a 2000 Russian Orthodox bishops’ document and stated that it
is morally licit for spouses to use artificial insemination as long as
fertilized eggs are not destroyed.
(The Catholic Church, in contrast,
teaches that artificial insemination is gravely immoral.)
The synod affirmed Russian Orthodox teaching that surrogate motherhood
is “unnatural and morally unacceptable” and stated that surrogate
motherhood humiliates the woman carrying the couple’s child by reducing
her body to “a kind of incubator.”
Infant baptism, the statement continued, presumes “upbringing in the
Christian faith and according to the norms of Christian morality.”
an upbringing cannot be assumed, the synod stated, unless those
presenting the infant for baptism – either the parents or the surrogate
mother –repent. Without such repentance, baptism must be deferred until
the child can make the choice.