Fertility issues seem to be a growing problem in the west. We all know and love someone who has struggled with infertility or lost a child to miscarriage. Having empathy for our loved ones facing infertility is critical. For those dedicated to children’s rights advocacy, highlighting the ethical problems with the fertility industry is often met by accusations that we are failing to extend compassion to the adults who desperately want a baby. Regardless of how gentle the tone or how robust the explanation of child harms, adults often claim that unless you have personally experienced infertility, you can have no voice in the conversation.

Here’s a few comments under a recent viral Them Before Us video:

“Back off if you’ve not been personally impacted by infertility. Your ignorance is insulting.”

“Sounds so noble when you don’t have fertility issues.”

“I have a feeling you have never personally struggled with fertility or genetic issues to have a family. You are talking about taking some people’s rights away to have children in the only way they can.”

“The push against IVF and ways for families to expand is absolutely despicable, lacks empathy, and is ugly. I truly hope this is a more level-headed compassionate talk than the soundbite implies.”

“When you don’t have any fertility issues then you will never understand the hope that IVF can bring.”

As with all the other Them Before Us topics, we center the real victims: children. We present the stats and the research, but in the case of IVF, we seek to represent the babies who will never have a voice. On behalf of the millions who have been “discarded, “donated to research,” or who remain on ice indefinitely, we have to speak.  But if lived experience is the highest authority on the topic of IVF, then the voices of those who have struggled to get pregnant, lost children, participated in the fertility industry, and endured infertility and have refused to allow their pain to justify child victimization deserve to be heard as well.

Here are their stories:

I have fertility issues and your book and podcast changed my mind before we ever even considered IVF. Even if the Lord never blesses us with children of our body, I will not destroy other babies (in embryo form) in order to have one. I will not destroy many in order to birth one. I will not store extras in a freezer, put them down a drain, or give them to research. We will consider adoption and fostering in the future, but IVF is not going to be on the table. And I say this as a woman that also was interested in being a surrogate when I was in my twenties. What you have taught me about surrogacy, I never knew any of that when I was younger. It never became an option, but I saw it as a way to help another mother have a baby. But I had never realized all the wrongs and evils that go with that, then. Keep sharing for those of us that are listening. Thank you.

“My husband and I were told we wouldn’t be able to have kids ‘naturally’ and were ‘referred’ to a fertility clinic. We started the intake process but thankfully my husband urged us to pray about it before moving forward. We instantly felt convicted like this was not something we were supposed to be doing. I’m so thankful the Lord protected any possible embryos from our own selfish demand for children. We decided we would rather not have children at all than try and play God ourselves. We ended up being blessed with 3 children. However, even if our story didn’t end with biological children, we would not have wavered in our conviction no matter how painful childlessness would have felt.”

I struggled with infertility. We couldn’t get pregnant with my second. Was told IVF was my only option and that I could never have children again naturally. Lo and behold, I’ve since gotten pregnant again 3 times – 1 miscarriage, 1 living child and 1 due in August. All because I took matters into my own hands, found supplements and life changes that worked for me and supported my fertility. I would never touch IVF with a 10-foot pole because of how wrong it is, even if it really was the ‘only way’ I could have another child.

“So, here I am. Sitting in my fertility specialist’s office. Reading your posts. Yet I agree with what you’re saying about IVF. It can be a slippery slope. I feel that my doctor and I did the best we can to support a pro life stance while doing ivf. All our embabjes were viable. None were discarded. Yet I’m still torn on it myself. A little background: my husband and I couldn’t have kids. 3 years in we ended up going the IVF route. We had 6 embryos from this endeavor. One was a failed transfer and one ended up being my beautiful son James. I would not trade him for the world. But here I sit, worried that I have 4 other sweet embabies in a freezer. With any luck we can transfer all of them and they will become our 5 beautiful children. But things happen. What if I somehow can’t transfer them all for whatever reason? It puts a lot of stress on the couple once you’ve decided to go down this road. I pray every day about it. I don’t have the answer, just my story.”

I struggled with infertility and people were aghast I wouldn’t consider IVF. But children are not accessories or commodities and I was not owed a child. I went through a lot — a LOT — to conceive, between medications and changing my lifestyle and having surgical intervention, but it was worth it to honor the dignity of my children.

“My husband and I tried to have our own children for 8 years. In 2021, we were preparing to begin IVF. I would’ve done *anything* to have my own biological child. But thankfully, I had a friend who had the courage to tell me to reconsider. She risked our friendship to share the hard truth with me that IVF has ethical concerns. “Besides, if God wills for you to have your own baby, he is all powerful and there will be nothing that will prevent him from making that happen. He doesn’t need IVF for you to have a baby.” I’ll never forget her telling me that. And surprisingly, it provided the relief I did not know was seeking. I was still hurt that she didn’t seem to support my dream of having my own child. But through the healing of the Holy Spirit I was able to let go of this belief that I owed a child for my infertility pain. Because after that fateful conversation, I began researching IVF and realized she was RIGHT. I spent the rest of 2021 grieving—allowing God to heal my heart. Afterall, IVF likely still is the only way I might be able to have my own child. But now, I see how damaged it is. We spent all of 2022 prayerfully considering adoption. We spent all of 2023 waiting to adopt. After 2 failed adoptions within that year, we brought our son home in April. Got the call he was born and we were selected by his birth mother the same day our 2nd adoption fell through.”

If I believe life begins at conception, and I do, there are 9 lives sitting on ice in a freezer that bear my DNA. When I began the process of IVF, I was desperate to become a mother. Infertility is not part of God’s design, but so it has become part of the fabric of human existence since the Fall I’d been a vocal, pro-life advocate since elementary school, but IVF felt like the opposite of abortion. It was life creation, not destruction. And yet, now we know that more than a million tiny, conceived lives exist in medical freezers and most of them will never see the light of day. I wish I’d had someone to help me back in 2014, when I started the journey toward motherhood via IVF. Today, I have two healthy, amazing children than were conceived from this decision and I am everyday grateful for this. Read more

“I had an ectopic miscarriage and was told that I may never have a baby naturally should the surgery result in full hysterectomy. I decided, even after a sponsor said they would pay for me to have IVF but before the surgery, that I would never do IVF. Life is too precious and should I ever force God’s will to be my will, it will always result in something less than what God wants for me.”

I got married later in life after working in entertainment / tech. Have never considered IVF because I think if God wants me to have a baby, I will. Have tried to have a full life loving the children in my life. It’s hard and heartbreaking at times not to have children but it feels very self-focused to push my body or someone else’s in an unnatural way to achieve ‘motherhood.’

“I have ALWAYS wanted children. Ever since I was little when people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d answer, “a wife and a mom”. My husband and I have been married for 3 years and still aren’t able to have children, but I would NEVER consider IVF. How could I love and long for children so much that I’d kill some of my children in the process?”

We tried for 3 years before pursuing adoption. We have adopted twice now. Too many moral and ethical issues with IVF. Infertility was (& still is in some ways!) so very difficult and I do understand the desperation you feel when you want a child. But to be honest IVF was just never on the table for us. Once you think it through and remove the emotion, how can you be ok with it?

“I don’t know if I ‘qualify’ as having fertility issues since I’m pregnant with #3 at the moment but we had recurrent pregnancy loss and lost 6 pregnancies around six weeks since 2019. I was pushed to do IUI and when that failed, was told IVF was my only option because of my age. I met with a clinic who walked us through the process. The doctor was actually pretty great and he told me that if I was a Christian (he’s Jewish and I guess they believe life begins at implantation so this isn’t the same issue for them – or at least that’s what I thought he said) then I might have some ethical problems with IVF and he wouldn’t be able to help me get past them. We thought it over and realized he was right, I wouldn’t be able to go through with it knowing the serious concerns I had, so we walked away. I changed diet, did acupuncture, prayed and a month later got pregnant with my son. I feel very strongly that IVF introduces a huge level of risk for both mother and baby.”

“Not being able to have kiddos and with no real reason why (unexplained infertility) really had me at a terrible LOW about 10 years ago. It was consuming my every thought and I was filled with so much jealousy, envy, discontentment and every other gross sinful emotion. Then one day God showed me Psalm 84:11, which says, “no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless”. We can only be blameless because of Christ, nothing we can do, have done, or will do makes us that way. Only Christ! Also within that verse, notice that it doesn’t say, “no thing” but “no GOOD thing”. It was at that point I realized, well kiddos are a good thing so if we don’t have them, it’s not good for us – whether that’s now or ever….We still don’t have kiddos (going on 15 years now) and some days are still hard, but He has definitely helped me overcome a lot of that! Also, like I’ve mentioned before – As a Christian woman who cannot get pregnant (going on 15 years now / unexplained infertility) and absolutely refuses to ever do IVF/surrogacy, these comments are so frustrating! I had someone tell me once, so if you had cancer you wouldn’t do chemo? Look. Me getting cancer and not being able to conceive are two totally different things. Chemo is used so that it can HEAL you. Nothing about IVF/surrogacy will HEAL me. I will not die if I don’t have a child. I mean, I’ll eventually die someday, but not from not being able to have kids. Anyway, thank you for speaking up on this controversial topic, even though it shouldn’t be!” Listen to more of her story

“We were told IVF will raise our chances from 30% (no IVF/natural) to 50%. We knew we could never do IVF once she described we’d have to choose what to do to the other embryos. Then, God provided us with a child to care for…my high school brother. We took him in for those 4 years and had our first baby that last year (in our 30s/40s by that time). Then we were blessed with one more (after my grandma told me she had a dream that we’d only have one child.) God is sovereign and has a sense of humor.”

We struggled with infertility and recurrent for over 4 heartbreaking years. It was a very difficult time in our lives, emotionally and physically. It is hard to explain to people who haven’t been through it. Like most forms of grief, I think it is one of those things you just have to go through yourself to understand fully. We discovered quickly that the IVF doctors didn’t understand the root cause of infertility, at all. They were selling a service or “product” plain and simple. We had known several people who were told their only hope was IVF who later went on to conceive naturally in God’s timing, not theirs. So we had faith that if it was the plan for our lives, our Creator would find a way. If not we would make other plans. I prayed for the right healers to heal my body and got hard to work on gut healing, fixing nutrients deficiencies, and addressing food intolerances and detoxing as my heavy metal load was very high, as a test showed. We primarily worked with holistic doctors who understood far more about root cause and hormones. Other friends had success with Napro doctors so that was on our to do list, but we didn’t end up needing one in the end. I had all but accepted our fate when after 4 years, and several years of working on healing my body and health issues, we were finally able to maintain a pregnancy. … I’m sharing my story so people know there are other options outside of forcing a pregnancy into an unhealthy body, having difficult choices like termination or the unknown long term effects of being created in a test tube or frozen for long periods of time. We had friends offer to be surrogates but I would never do that to a child, rip them from the only mother they have ever known, a newborn knows his mother’s voice and smell after all and is comforted by both…. I had truly given up all hope about a month or 2 before our successful pregnancy. But I kept working on healing my body and that hard work really did pay off…

“My husband and I struggled to have children for 5 years now. Medically speaking nothing is ‘wrong’ with either of us. I put my career on a break for our first child so I can care for the child and home school. Does it feel extremely unfair that people who are willing to give up a lot for kids can’t have more kids? Yes. Do I think I am entitled to more kids? No. Do I have the right to coerce others to financially or legally support my heart’s desires to artificially make me a baby? Absolutely no. If we start playing God, the devil is surely winning.”

We had seen several other specialists over the 5 years and had never gotten pregnant. In vitro fertilization seemed like the next logical step. Infertility had come as such a shock. We were both healthy individuals and had no history of infertility in either of our families. It had never occurred to us that we would have difficulty starting a family. During our consultation, we listened as the doctor went through each detailed piece of the IVF process. The medications and precise timing of each step was designed to give couples the best possible chance at a healthy pregnancy. Our guest bedroom turned into a mini clinic. We had all the medications, syringes, and medical waste disposal container set up on the dressers. Daily, my brave husband gave me shots in my abdomen. My belly was so bruised that it was difficult to find a spot that hadn’t yet been poked. The medications came with intense side effects. Fatigue, irritability, stomach upset, hot flashes, and rage made day to day life more challenging. The medications increased anxiety levels in an already anxiety-provoking situation. The side effects would go on for months after I stopped taking them. My belly swelled, and I looked 4 months pregnant. It was cruel to look at myself in the mirror and look like an expectant mother, knowing that there was no baby in my womb. I was unprepared for the physical pain and emotional turmoil that resulted from the medications and procedures. We went through 2 cycles and neither resulted in a pregnancy. I had been experiencing disappointment and grief for years, but this cut deeper. We came to the end of IVF with no baby in our arms and were thousands of dollars in debt.


The negative results felt like a death; but for some reason, I didn’t frame the experience as an actual death. I did not fully understand all that I lost during those 2 cycles of IVF. It would be years before I realized that 7 of our children had indeed died. Fast forward several years: We adopted 2 amazing children, and I was loving my life as a mom. As I grew in my relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit revealed to me a truth about IVF that caught me off guard: The 7 embryos that resulted in IVF were BABIES: Actual human beings created in the image of God. They were children that are now in heaven with Jesus. Up until that point, I had thought about my babies as simply clumps of cells. I wasn’t simply grieving the lack of pregnancy. I was grieving the loss of my CHILDREN. Those “embryos” or “blastocysts” were not simply clumps of cells. They had grown in a petri dish before being inserted into my womb. They were ALIVE. They had their own DNA, distinct from me and my husband. How in the world did it take YEARS for me to recognize that I had lost actual, living babies?


A wise friend pointed out to me that our culture speaks of tiny babies in the womb as if they are groups of cells. The words “zygote” and “blastocyst” and “embryo” are so clinical. Cold. Inhuman. The doctor described the IVF process in such medical, detached terms. I was so deep in the grief of infertility and desperate for a baby that I didn’t stop to think clearly about what was actually taking place. In that moment of clarity, felt a wave of grief, but I also experienced such peace and joy. I would meet my babies one day! Praise God! In recognizing their humanity, I also had to grapple with the realities of the IVF process. Once the sperm and egg are united to form zygote, it is left to grow for 5 days. During this period, doctors examine the embryos to determine which will result in a healthy baby. They give them a grade and implant or freeze the ones with the highest grades. The babies that receive the lowest grades are discarded. I was horrified when I realized what we had done. We had allowed doctors to examine our babies and make an educated guess on which would survive. I allowed them to be thrown away before they were even given a chance in my womb. I was angry and confused. I had been following Jesus all my life and had never heard Christians talk about the moral issues behind IVF. Medical technology is incredible.


I am grateful for all the ways that doctors help us; however, the technology must always be evaluated through the lens of Scripture. God is the author of life. He knits humans together in their mother’s wombs. The science of embryology supports Scripture by showing us that life begins at conception. When the sperm and egg come together to form an embryo, that embryo has DNA that is distinct from the mother or father. We do not have the right to destroy them. I regret choosing to do IVF, but I do not remain in a place of shame. I am grateful for the truths that God has revealed to me because it is yet another example of God’s grace. We are living in a godless culture, and all of us are being impacted by false ideas. I am not condemned and His grace covers all. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, it is important that we are clear in our understanding of reproductive technologies. Do not wait until you are in the midst of the crisis of infertility to have to make important decisions on the treatments you will seek.

We stand with all adults who choose to do hard things on behalf of children, rather than expecting children to do hard things for them.