In Summary

  •  Pope Francis has called for a universal ban on surrogacy, calling the practice “deplorable”
  • Pope Francis said that he hopes that the international community will make efforts to “prohibit this practice universally.”
  • Surrogacy provides a path to parenthood for those who have struggled to conceive and same-sex couples

Pope Francis called surrogacy “deplorable” and called for a global ban on the exploitative practice of “so-called surrogate motherhood” in a speech to all of the world’s ambassadors to the Vatican on Monday.

Citing Russia’s War in Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war the issue of migration, climate crisis   and the “immoral” production of nuclear and conventional weapons, Francis delivered a list of the ills afflicting humanity and the increasing violation of international humanitarian law that allows them.

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Pope Calls for Ban On Surrogacy

Pope Francis delivers a speech to all of the world’s ambassadors to the Vatican on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis additionally listed smaller-scale issues that he said were threats to peace and human dignity, including surrogacy.

He said the life of the unborn child must be protected and not “suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking.

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“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” he said.

Saying a child is a gift and “never the basis of a commercial contract,” he called for a global ban on surrogacy “to prohibit this practice universally.”

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 International Community on Surrogacy

The pope then called on the international community to prohibit the practice of surrogacy universally.

“At every moment of its existence, human life must be preserved and defended; yet I note with regret, especially in the West, the continued spread of a culture of death, which in the name of a false compassion discards children, the elderly, and the sick,” he added.

Pope Francis’ strong condemnation of surrogacy came during his annual foreign policy speech to all of the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See.



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