A woman has been married for five years and has a problem conceiving. The physicians advised her to try in vitro fertilization. Is this lawful or unlawful?
There is no legal objection to conception by fertilizing the wife’s egg and the husband’s sperm outside the womb and then implanting it in the wife’s uterus [when the following conditions are met]:
- it is incontrovertibly established that the egg comes from the wife and the sperm comes from her husband;
- that fertilization occurred outside her uterus (in a Petri dish);
- the fertilized ovum was implanted in the wife’s uterus without being replaced or mixed with another sperm sample;
- there is a medical necessity for it (e.g. either spouse having a disease preventing natural conception, or when it is the only way for the wife to conceive); and
- it must be carried out by a trustworthy doctor who is a [fertility] specialist.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Question answered on 20 April 2005.