Surrogate motherhood is like adultery, religiously unacceptable – Turkey's clerics

Reuters / Mariana Bazo
Surrogate motherhood is religiously unacceptable as it contains elements of adultery, Turkey’s top religious body, the Diyanet, has ruled.

Surrogate motherhood is religiously unacceptable as it contains elements of adultery, Turkey’s top religious body, the Diyanet, has ruled.

“An in vitro fertilization (IVF) process that starts and finalizes between individuals who are not de facto married is religiously not acceptable as it offends humane feelings and contains elements of adultery,” a Diyanet statement said, as cited by Hurriyet newspaper.

According to the religious body, IVF can only be acceptable if the sperm and the ovum to be fertilized belong to a married couple and the fertilized ovum remains with the wife, but “not inside a stranger’s womb.”

Having a baby through surrogate motherhood is acceptable as long as it is medically proven that the in vitro fertilization process has no negative effect on the parents and their future child, it added.

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In the same statement the Diyanet also gave the green light to the use of cleaning substances, which contain alcohol.

“While it is forbidden to drink substances containing alcohol that were produced for cleaning purposes, it is acceptable to use them for cleaning. Therefore, the places which were cleaned with such substances need not be washed before performing a prayer,” it said.

The Dyanet or Directorate of Religious Affairs was established in Turkey in 1924 “to execute the works concerning the beliefs, worship and ethics of Islam, enlighten the public about their religion, and administer the sacred worshiping places.”

Turkey is a secular state and the rulings by the Dyanet are not mandatory, but rather recommendations for believers.

The religious body came under fire from secular Turks in 2008 after saying that women should not wear perfume in public and should not be left alone with men.

Other controversial statements by Diyanet in recent years include a condemnation of tattoos as they “alter creation” and advice to men to refrain from “using jewelry that is proper for women, because our Prophet ordered.”