Questions about Family / Parenting: Is Being a Sperm Donor a Sin? Is It a Sin to Use a Sperm Donor?

These are difficult questions to answer. Some people would say that using donated sperm to fertilize an egg—or donating your own sperm so someone else can conceive—is wrong because it seeks to bypass God’s will. If God wanted that person to have children, the thinking goes, she wouldn’t need sperm from anyone other than her husband. However, if we take this reasoning to the extreme, then we would have to say that it is also God’s will for a person with appendicitis to die, because performing life-saving surgery would “bypass God’s will.” Such reasoning is fallacious because medical intervention is not inherently sinful.

Still, there is a difference between saving a life in jeopardy (performing an appendectomy) and using medical procedures to aid in God’s creation of a new life. Just how much scientific advancement is God-honoring (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 10:31)? Is all technology something God desires His children to make use of? In these “gray” areas, a believer in Jesus needs wisdom. It is good to gather detailed information and make a careful study of the procedures involved in donating sperm or receiving donated sperm. Also, it is wise to consult with doctors and other believers and, above all, to spend much time in prayer.

Ultimately, the creation of life is still in God’s hands (Psalm 139:13–16; Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 110:3). Science may aid someone in getting pregnant, but technology is not the source of life, and God can still prevent any pregnancy He doesn’t want to happen. At the same time, God allows sin even though He disapproves of it. So, the question remains: is it sinful to donate sperm or to receive donated sperm? There are some important issues to consider regarding donating sperm that could help someone make an informed, God-honoring decision. The first two questions are for a man who is considering donating sperm:

First, is the donated sperm to be distributed among unknown mothers? If so, you have no way of knowing if your child will grow up in a loving home, if he will be brought up to know the Lord, or even if she will have a two-parent home. Would contributing to an abusive family situation honor the Lord? If there’s a possibility that your child will not be reared in a godly home, and if that possibility leaves you without peace as you pray about it, then it’s probable that the Lord doesn’t want you to donate.

Second, what effect will your donation have on the child it helps to create? If you are not going to rear the child yourself, the child may struggle for years with questions about why you would “sell” him and never be a part of his life. Online blogs exist for children searching for their biological fathers (or “sperm donors”), as they try to come to terms with their unusual heritage.

Now, a question for a married woman considering using donated sperm: have both you and your husband considered the ethical and moral implications of introducing another man’s sperm into your body? God designed marriage to be a union of a man and a woman to become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

And, finally, a question for anyone to consider: is the sperm from the sperm bank used to fertilize more than one ovum (as in the in-vitro procedure)? If so, multiple zygotes/embryos will be created, and some of them may later be destroyed because too many are growing in the womb. Other “extra” embryos are frozen and never implanted. If you agree that abortion is wrong, then you would probably agree that such treatment of embryos is also wrong.

A believer should pray, read God’s Word, and wait for a clear answer from the Lord (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 1:9–10). Your decision affects many other people, and it affects the potential life (or even death) of other human beings.[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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