August 6th, 2010
12:40 PM ET

First U.S. test tube baby is a mom

The first woman to have been born through in-vitro fertilization in the United States became a mother herself yesterday.

Elizabeth Comeau, born Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is 28 years old and works for the Boston Globe. She looks back on her experience as one of America's most famous babies ever in this piece on Boston.com today.

"I had a normal conception and pregnancy despite my abnormal childhood. And early yesterday, my husband and I had a baby boy 'the normal way,' proving (I hope) that I’m just like everyone else," she writes.

Friends at school knew that she was an in-vitro baby (she hates the term "test tube baby" because the process involves a petri dish, not a tube). The other kids did not tease her, but some would want to sit next to her at a homecoming game since a camera was following her around.

She has been in the spotlight nearly all her life, since her birth on December 28, 1981. The photo above shows her in 2002, attending a World Infertility Month dinner at the United Nations in New York.

After marrying and taking on a new last name, she had more privacy, but wanted to come out with her story now because "If my story helps couples or families learn about in-vitro fertilization, then the loss of privacy is worthwhile," she writes.

The doctors who helped bring her into the world, Dr. Howard Jones and his wife Georgeanna, were more like grandparents to her, she says. Dr. Georgeanna Seeger Jones died in 2005.

"It really hit me that I would never be able to say thank you to her, ever," she says in the video with her article. "How do you thank somebody for bringing you into the world? You really can't."

She also notes that the pope still disapproves of IVF and so, in a sense, disapproves of her existence.

"If I ever get a chance to meet him and talk with him, I'd try to set him straight, I think," she says.

soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. Nurse Lisa

    Obviously her being here proves God didn't disapprove of her existence!

    August 6, 2010 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • IVF Mom

      Amen to that! I have two healthy children born through IVF measures, and I think their existence is a miracle. I think the advancement of medical science has done extraordinary things for couples wanting a child, and a I praise their efforts! I prayed for years for an answer to my fertility issues, and God answered those prayers! Incidentally, the Pope also doesn't agree with birth control, yet there are so many neglected children in the world born to people that weren't ready to have children, or aren't capable of taking care of children. So, I think he ought to revamp his position on IVF. At least we are couples, or individuals out there who long for a child and truly want a child. What is wrong with that?

      August 6, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • R

      Hey Dani, maybe we're tired of hearing your opinion. Just because Ravi doesn't agree with yours doesn't make his a "negative" one. Everyone's entitled to one, just as you are, so perhaps you should practice what you preach.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • TheWonderHorse


      Instead of saying you're tired of hearing "everyones opinion" you should clarify and say you're tired of hearing any opinion that differs from your own.

      Also, seriously, you say you're tired of hearing everyones opinion, then contribute your own opinon. HurrDurr.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • Gpenn

      Sorry Dani, but if you are that tired of everyone's opinion. Then I would suggest staying off of a message board where people are encouraged to give their opinion. Just a thought.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • Gatlin

      Right on Nurse Lisa!

      August 6, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • Adam


      You are not a intelligent individual. It is clearly demonstrated in your comment as you denounce people stating their opinion on a CNN soundoff opinion blog, and then continue on to state your opinion. Since you are a God believer let me teach you this, hypocrisy is considered a sin. Your coment is blatent hypocrisy, and you should probably ask God for forgivness if your one of the old school christians who are demanded to do so or else they will eternally burn in the fires of hell. Ravi's comment is not negative, it's his opinion. Deal with it and stop crying about everyone not thinking exactly the same as you because it should be clear to you that you are not smart. If everyone thought like you this world would be a very unintelligent place.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Dani, if there is a god and guardian angels watching over us, why do they allow pedophile priests to do what they do? What did all those children do to anger the guardian angels so much that they would turn their back on these children?

      August 6, 2010 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • Snay

      Her having a baby like this is not from some god. This is what you call evolution. People became more intelligent over time. They learned how to do this process. They did it. That is all that happened here. The worst people you know have miracles happen to them, those people don't believe in god. The best people you know have miracles happen to them, even though these people might believe in god. If you notice, there is nothing that happens DIFFERENT to people who do or do not believe in a god.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • BadRequest

      This article is about an in-vitro child who is now a mother herself, it's not about the existence or lack therof, of "God".

      August 6, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      Her being proves that the doctors knew what they were doing, and that she had parents gave a bleep, because she survived childhood and is now a mother herself.

      That is all it proves.

      As for "god", google "mickey mouse", almost everything regarding mickey can be attributed to "god" as well, including existence and how he came to be. (and "god" even has theme parks too, or so I'm told....)

      August 6, 2010 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • ubo

      God didn't bring her into this world, science did.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      You forgot to put "God" in quotes.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      The Pope never said he disapproves of her existence – the article implied it. The Catholic Church does not neglect the existence of IVF children – what it mourns is the loss of her brothers and sisters that did not make it out of the petry dish, were never implanted, and died off. That is why the Church disapproves of IVF – because only one of usually over a dozen children is allowed to get to be born. The rest are disposed of.

      August 6, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
    • Ninja

      Agree !!!

      August 6, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
    • JOEOE

      I like ice cream sandwitches

      August 6, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
    • Arkansasmonk

      I would like to clear up some confusion on the misunderstanding. One of the other comments said it best, the Church is not opposed to IVF, it is opposed to the principle that there are other healthy fertilized babies in teh petri dish, and the others are discarded like yesterdays dinner.

      Another clarification, someone mentioned the Church's opposition to birth control. In a papal encyclical dated in the 1960's, one of the popes said that if contraception becomes commonly available, the world will see a rampant spread of STD's, astronomical increase in teh number of abortions, and an increase in single parent households. Now I know we all have differing opinions on the subject, and I respect everyone's opinion and their right to it, but can we objectively admit that every one of those things has happened?

      August 6, 2010 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • whatnext

      anonamoose, she just gave birth. Ask your mother if she put on any weight while she was pregnant. She's a slob? Have you been in her house? She went to college at 18, and has been working in her field (journalism) since she graduated. She's doing better than many people her age.

      August 6, 2010 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
    • Srikanth

      Elizabeth.. Nobody needs to approve your existence. It is God who made you. If He had not given his breath of life, no human could ever create a life. You are special in God's eyes. Thank Him and Him only!

      August 6, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • juggalocke

      the creator or whatever you wana call it made science and gave man knowledge to use it and the catholic king you call pope is a false prophet anyway no man knows whats rite or wrong btw G.O.D. is just G iving O rders D irectly made by the powers to be to control us love each other even miss tube lady

      August 6, 2010 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • whynowcnn

      I think this is awesome, and should be looked at as a medical advancement. I know we are going to have the extreme people say things like this wasn't sanctioned by God, and so were so many other things that are horrible, and should never have happened but was needed. Suffering brings enlightenment, a challenge brings a testimony, hardship brings thankfulness, so let's not forget the golden rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated!!!! Have a wonderful birth, and thanks for sharing your story of personal triumph.

      August 6, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      You are so right, Lisa. The pope isn't God which means his opinions aren't any more important than yours or mine.

      August 6, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
    • Dave


      August 6, 2010 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
    • 110th

      Question for pro-life right wingers – What about abortion? If humans are playing "god" to allow for the birth to babies who otherwise would not have been born, why does the religious right oppose humans playing "god" when it comes to the compassionate cessation of pregnancy in cases of rape or incest?

      August 6, 2010 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
    • ybs

      god may or may not exist but religions (the vatican folks & its followers included) are just one big pile of dung!

      Justifying eating it however you want, the putrid stench lingers.

      August 6, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      I was a Christian dealing with infertility when I asked for someone to pray for me. They said they couldn't pray since I was using "unnatural" means – Clomid, a drug to stimulate ovulation. I was very hurt by this. I'm thankful that God provided a way for this sweet girl and for me to give birth to healthy boys 🙂

      August 6, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      110th: No such thing as compassionate cessation for the baby. Either it's mutilated or all of its skin is burned off with saline. No compassion, just gruesome butchery.

      August 6, 2010 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Why doesn't god heal amputees? Exactly.

      August 6, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
    • Nurse Amanda

      Thank you Lisa! God or the Pope do not disapprove of her existence.She may have had scientific help in her creation but God still bestowed her soul upon her. The Pope only disapproves of the method, not the actual person created. If the writer actually knew a thing or two about the Catholic Church he would be so quite to make outrageous assumptions.

      August 7, 2010 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • Phil Knobing

      Interesting that the author acknowledges the fact that she "hates the term 'test tube baby'" and explains why the term is inaccurate and offensive - and then titles the article "First U.S. test tub baby is a mom". Good editing/PR work here at CNN.

      August 7, 2010 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • onlooker

      I agree Lisa!!

      August 7, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • 110th

      "110th: No such thing as compassionate cessation for the baby. Either it's mutilated or all of its skin is burned off with saline. No compassion, just gruesome butchery." (Karen) –
      ... and here, Karen, is where we differ. While one of us believes in a magic man who lives in the sky, the other beilves in reality.

      August 7, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
    • Name* Jay

      It doesn't matter what the Pope thinks,or anybody else, enjoy your life make the best of it

      August 8, 2010 at 00:21 | Report abuse |
    • Esh

      I don't see what's wrong with it as long as you aren't using a stranger's sperm, but the husband's sperm...

      August 8, 2010 at 11:53 | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      Obviously, some of the people here do not understand how IVF works. No viable embryos are discarded – they are frozen for future cycles or donated to infertile couples. Why would you pay that much money and go through this torturous procedure and then discard the desired result?

      Also, often two viable embryos are implanted in the mother. Usually only one survives, but this is up to nature, and is not cruelty, just the way it happens naturally. Less often, both of them survive (or even split), resulting in high order multiples (see "Octomom"). Not every pregnancy comes to term, and many times the pregnancy ends before the mother is aware she is pregnant.

      I guess my point is that I can't follow the Church's reasoning on IVF at all.

      August 8, 2010 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • ceg10

      Amen to that! Plus Jesus was born from a virgin called Mary, so the test tube thing is old in the since the mother could have still been a virgin as well.

      August 9, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • renuel

      and so the anti-christ has been born

      August 16, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • Yupps

      I agree. I don't think God, since he's supposed to love everyone equally regardless of what they do, think, say, believe... would deny her existance. If he did, the IVF wouldn't have taken and she wouldn't have reproduced. Silly pope... He needs to re-read the Bible.

      September 8, 2010 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
  2. Karen

    Congrats and God bless you and your family!!!

    August 6, 2010 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Interesting

    You would think if she was so famous as a child she would have a better job.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JP

      And how do you know her job isn't a good one?

      August 6, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • Yum


      August 6, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Guiuan

      Being famous as a child doesn't guarantee a good job as an adult. What's wrong with her job?

      August 6, 2010 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • seph

      From what I have heard the Boston Globe is a good company. Not sure what she does, but then again that’s none of our (or your) business, and does not pertain to the subject of the article.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • Gatlin

      What should her job be then?

      August 6, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
    • Pretzel Logic

      And you would think with a moniker like "Interesting" you would actually have something interesting to contribute. Ironies abound...

      August 6, 2010 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      Yeah, I mean look at Gary Coleman, or Dana Plato, or maybe Cory Feldman. Hmmmmmmm

      August 6, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      Oh borther, how stup*d is your comment. This is like me saying: If she was so famous as a child she would have a better hair.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      Oh brother, how stup*d is your comment. This is like me saying: If she was so famous as a child she would have a better hair.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • ohgram

      Shows what you know. She has the BEST job in the world. She's A MOTHER!!!

      August 6, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
    • Alice

      How in the hell do you know what her job entails? These people!

      August 6, 2010 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Non sequitur – does not follow! Your lack of logic is astounding.

      August 6, 2010 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    Elizabeth I wish nothing but health and happiness for your child. Enjoy every little moment you can, I'm a grandparent now and it seems like just yesterday that my child was born.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JC-VA

      @Yum, Please read the article again, the kids was born a little while ago...

      August 6, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Myisraela

      Read the article . . . the baby was born yesterday.

      August 6, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
  5. Duh

    Maybe their intelligence is below average because they came from parents who don't know the difference between "their" and "there"

    August 6, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • magnus

      OK, now that was funny.

      August 6, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
  6. HappyMomma

    You're not too intelligent either IVF Dad. THEIR, not "there" is the proper word. You should look in the mirror. Your children get half of their DNA from you.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      Having a bit of trouble with your caps lock key there, Momma?

      August 6, 2010 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
  7. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    IVF Dad: That should be: 1) were also born 2) I kind of wish 3) I hadn't done it that way 4) They aren't very good kids 5) and their intelligence 6) Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.
    Have you had your own IQ checked and compared with theirs? Just wondering.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CJ

      Leonore, you rock.

      August 6, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      I think his IQ is less than the one contained in a cup of Yogurt.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
  8. Me

    Based on the incredible number of grammatical errors in this reply, I'm guessing their lack of intelligence comes naturally.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    She looks like a very sweet young woman. I wish her and her family the best. And who cares what the Pope thinks? He is an irrelevant old man with outdated opinions, head of a church that has always stood in the way of social and scientific progress.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kraznodar

      Not exactly true about the catholic church. It all depends on the pope at the time. Some early science was sponsored by the popes of the day. Other popes were frothing idiots.

      Are you sure the catholic church opposes IVF? I thought they were right to life types that think all life is good no matter what.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • SD

      Lenore, very well said!!! I used to be a catholic until I had infertility issues of my own which is the time when the catholic church first issues their statement about artificial means of procreating. How dare the pope and the church think they have a right to tell me how to create a baby when I was unable to do it in the traditional way...as if I really wanted to go through years of infertility!!!! The catholic church and the pope need to deal in reality!

      August 6, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
    • Amazed


      WOW you sound like an ex-catholic. You don't have to love or like the Pope, you can believe in whatever you want it sure sounds like you were also created in a lab.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Setting the record straight

      Actually the Catholic Church has been at the forefront of education the world over. One of the premiere physicists of the 20th century was a Catholic priest. The catholic church is the only christian religion that embraces science and promotes evolution but it stands with God being the catalyst for science and evolution. Lets remember the truth about the Church . The popes stance is we should adopt those children who are suffering before we use science to undo what God has done. Great for science but remember without sperm and ovum which is not created by science. None of this is possible.

      August 6, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Sonja

      Leonore, Amen! 🙂

      August 6, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      setting the record straight, you haven't interacted much with Lutherans, Episcopalians, The United Church of Christ, and many other mainline Protestant denominations. we all embrace science. there have been many thought leaders in science as well as the humanities who are not Roman Catholic. To say that Roman Catholics are the only Christian denomination to embrace science as well as the Gospel and tenets of Creation is false.

      Leonore, I agree with you. The Roman Catholic Church needs to realize that they are rapidly becoming irrelevant.

      August 6, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • smscales

      The Catholic Church supported the Nazi Party during and after WWII and has been supporting pedophilia for decades...but birth control and IVF are no no's....

      August 6, 2010 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  10. Geri

    I am sure she was a blessing to her parents, just has her baby is to she and her husband. It doesn't matter how they got here! Congratulations! I believe the Good Lord would not have given doctors the knowledge if he didn't intent them to use it!

    August 6, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ms. Jones

      Geri, is God in favor of the atom bomb, since (following your logic) He gave the inventors the brilliance to create it?

      August 6, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • SDPE

      Ms. Jones,

      God has a reason for everything. We just don't always understand what it is....

      August 6, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • TG

      Ms. Jones,
      Do you also realize that the atom bomb helped end the bloodiest war in history? And that far more Japanese would have perished if we were forced to launch a mainland invasion than those who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Also, as aweful as this sounds, I doubt the 'Cold War' would have remained 'cold' if not for the fear of mutual destruction. Would full scale war have been prevented if each side believed they could slug it out and come out not only victorious, but intact?! For all the horrific power that the nuclear bomb represents, it's also made the entire concept of a 'world war' too terrible to resort to. A strange way to ensure peace between super powers but I'd still call it a mixed blessing. Even the risk of a bomb getting into the wrong hands, can't compare to what would have happened if the (former) USSR and the United States had gone to war with each other in the past, both countries would have been decimated.

      August 6, 2010 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
    • LRoy

      For those of you who believe in IVF, why do you insist of having doctors and scientists "play God".

      Only God can create life, not some scientist in some laboratory. No one should become between a husband (male) and a wife (female) and God who is the creator of all life. This leaves your mad scientist doctor out of the picture.

      What about all the embryos you didn't use? Are they still frozen? Aren't you SLIGHTLY concerned, that human being (yes, they are people too) that they will be eventually discarded like some ugly bacteria? Those embryos that you conceived are still your children, even if you don't recognize them.

      As I understand it, the ONLY way IVF would be approved is to offer a solution to have all those frozen embryos a chance to be born to a mother (female) and father (male) rather than being discarded or being frozen for the rest of their lives.

      August 6, 2010 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
  11. Yopp

    obvioulsy this proves that God does exist, cacuse he gave us the intelligence to come up with, and use IVF. childrens behavior and intelligence doesnt have anything to do with the method in which they were conceived. that is DNA.
    God bless this woman and her family.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Not more justifications

      Please, don't say this proves God exists because he gave us the intelligence to do so blah blah blah. In this line of thinking, he also gave us the will to murder, rape, and molest... in addition, he gave us the intelligence to blow everyone up with nuclear weapons, and just as an added bonus he created terrorist too!

      It is pretty annoying when everything that is good is attributed to God yet anything bad that happens is all our fault. Go figure... a convenient excuse to give credit to God for everything, damn the doctors and scientist's efforts!!! God did it all through them....

      August 6, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • mpking

      Intelligence is only partially, if at all, a reflection on genetics and DNA. Environment has a lot more to do with it.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • drek

      Yopp is a moron. Sorry to offend morons.

      August 6, 2010 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
  12. Nikki

    IVD Dad, maybe it's your parenting skills that aren't good. What a shame to have you as a father.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. IVF Dad apparently is stupid

    Apparently you are the cause of their low intelligence. You obviously are not smart enough to realize a healthy child born is all that matters, how smart they are is not important unless you base your self worth on their intelligence. As for being bad kids, that's all your parenting, or lack thereof, dude.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mike

    IVF Dad:
    What a horrible thing to say. If true their behavior and intellect have nothing to do with them being the product of an assisted pregnancy, it is more likely hereditary or a lack of discipline from you. I have a 2 year old son born via assisted pregnancy and also a 3 week old born daughter conceived naturally. My Son has exceeds many of his non-assisted pregnancy peers in behavior and intelligence.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Duh

      Mike – IVFDad is just trying to get everyone all in a tizzy...just a person bored and trying to stimulate negative crap!

      August 6, 2010 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Mommy 2 an IVF Miracle

      My miracle baby was conceived via IVF after 11.5 YEARS of trying, when sex and non invasive measures (Clomid w/IUI) didn't work. Not only does she have better manners than most adults I know (she just turned 3), she exceeds children her age in common sense and smarts. She can even tell you her address, which I'm sure most children her age CANNOT do! So to those who think that ART creates dummies, think again!

      Congrats to Elizabeth on her new bundle of joy!

      August 6, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  15. A Chicago Mom

    Congrats on the new baby and enjoy every minute, it is all wonderful.

    We had our precious beautiful boy via egg donor and wouldn't have done it any other way.

    I suspect that IVF Dad really isn't an IVF Dad.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Jenna

    I am the aunt of twins born from IVF..my sister had a tubal pregnancy and lost the tube and at a later date she lost an ovary to an extremely large cyst. That left her with one ovary and one tube...wrong sides. She had IVF and now has beautiful, extremely smart twin girls. For all the people out there that disapprove of IVF, until you are not able to have children of your own that you desperately want and feel what that feels like, you don’t get to have a say. I do agree as well as my sister that there should be limitations on how many are implanted, IVF should be performed responsibly and for the right reasons.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Kerry

    I wouldn't pay too much attention to what the Pope has to say about Fertility and IVF births– since he has never even experienced the "old fashioned way" of procreation- he clearly doesn't have a clue. Also God wouldn't have given these scientists these brillant minds to come up with ways of creating life if he didn't want it to be. Just Sayin...

    August 6, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mommy 2 an IVF Miracle

      Amen to that!

      August 6, 2010 at 17:00 | Report abuse |
    • TonyB

      Just because the Pope hasn't experienced the "old fashioned" way of procreation doesn't mean he doesn't understand it. Nobody alive has experienced murder, yet we all seem to know it is morally wrong. Experience of something isn't a requirement to understand its morality.

      That being said, I am a Catholic and have had two children via IVF. I had a long conversation with my priest about this, who told me that often times issues are not black and white, but various shades of gray. The Church's teaching is two-fold, both of which are somewhat flawed. First, the Church believes that IVF deprives the child of the gift of conception through conjugal love. My children were conceived through love, regardless of the exact manner. My priest talked with my wife and I and came to the conclusion that the love was present. Secondly, the Church is concerned about destruction of embryos once a successful pregnancy is achieved. This is consistent with the Church's teaching on abortion, that all life is sacred and should not be destroyed. However, it isn't IVF that is the sin in this case, it is the destruction of the embryos. My wife and I pledged that any fertilized embryos would be implanted and given a chance for life, and we completed that pledge.

      The Church has been around for 2,000 years, and so it is going to err on the side of caution until it completely vets this issue. That means it is a safer approach (from a theological standpoint) to discourage IVF until all the issues, especially what to do with unused embryos, are resolved.

      The statement given in the article is an oversimplification and also incorrect. The Church believes in the sanctity of human life and once fertilization occurs would have done everything in its power to ensure Mrs. Comeau exists.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  18. Sly

    Anyone who doubts that IVF kids are just like natural born kids...take a lesson from this woman and many others born in this unique way.

    Bible thumpers especially.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dani

      I bet you anything that you have probably met or talked to someone who was concieved that way, and you don't even know it so for this comment you may want to get some facts first.....

      August 6, 2010 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • Duh

      Dani – I think Sly was saying that IVF and Natural babies are the same...

      August 6, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • Mark C

      dani, you may want to get less stupid first.

      August 6, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha @ Dani!

      August 6, 2010 at 20:13 | Report abuse |
  19. chupacabra

    in your case, you probably shouldn't have reproduced then.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. mattmchugh

    While I'm happy for this woman and, personally, have no problems with IVF per se (except, perhaps, its cost and intrinsic exclusiveness), I do worry about the slippery slope toward genetic manipulation.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • seph

      Genetic testing can help to eliminate devastating diseases.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • seph

      Genetic testing can help to eliminate devastating diseases...

      August 6, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  21. Elizabeth

    IVF Dad, that is a terrible thing to say. How do you know that your kids would have been any different if you had conceived them any other way. Kids are what YOU make of them after they are born.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. meaydlet

    This is clearly a joke, guys. Don't indulge him.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. T.A.

    Intelligence is also determined by environment, how you are raised. Not just DNA.

    IVF proves nothing about any religion- seriously.

    August 6, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Cindy

    What most people don't realize is that while IVF does allow children to come into the world that would not have otherwise existed – it isn't without a cost. I'm not referring to the $$, but the number of lives (embryos) that are created and then thrown away (literally flushed down a sink) to accomplish the pregnancy. Since the Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception, by fertilizing the eggs (conception) and throwing them out – the IVF process always almost always terminates life as well. Even in the case when the desirable embryos are frozen, the embryos deemed undesirable are thrown out. Something to think about.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yum

      You win some, You lose some. Don't cry over spilled eggs. Two wrongs puts babies in trash. the eggs are always newer in the other dish. An egg on the dish is worth 2 in the "bush". Thank you for reading.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • beth

      Oh please. Miscarriages result in the destruction of embryos also. What's next for you radicals, imprisoning women who miscarry? If you don't want to have IVF and risk having embryos not used, then DON'T. Just leave everyone else ALONE.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Yo_CJ

      Hey Cindy why don't you think for yourself instead of letting the catholic church telling you what to believe and think, something to think about there Cindy

      August 6, 2010 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
    • Mommy 2 an IVF Miracle

      I was born & raised Catholic but I don't dare let any person or church determine how I'm going to expand my family! EVER!
      IVF was how I got my miracle. I have 6 frozen embryos waiting in the freezer. What I don't use will be donated to a friend from my infertility group. "I" personally will not discard my frosties. They will be "adopted" by another infertile who is longing for a child.......

      August 6, 2010 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      there is a very easy solution. instead of discarding the unused embryos, isolation emybronic stem cells from them. you are going to discard them anyways, so why not harvest stem cells instead.

      August 6, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      Seriously, I don't know anyone who has gone through IVF that has "flushed" viable embryos down the drain! The only thing that is discarded are embryos that arrested (stopped developing), and who would not have grown to become a fetus no matter what. Nature itself discards many pregnancies when there are problems early on. The body knows if the cells are not multiplying properly or are malformed, etc. and it is usually very early on in the pregnancy.

      August 8, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Why all the hostility?? I was simply explaining why the Catholic Church opposes IVF. BTW – throwing out viable embryos is not the same as a miscarriage. It's more like an abortion, if you think about it rationally (I know that can be a challenge for some). I know doctors who used to be in the IVF business and they said they throw out viable embryos all the time, and not just those that aren't developing. When they realized the reality of what they were doing, they left the whole baby-at-any-cost industry. So, should we allow babies who aren't born to their parents specifications to be euthanized? What difference does it make whether they are born or unborn? The end result is the same. And for the record – I do think for myself. Just because I don't happen to agree with you means I'm not thinking for myself??

      August 11, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  25. Yum

    you should have just thrown the dish on the floor and let the cat lick it.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. kat

    Sly I take offense at "bible thumpers especially". I am devouted believer, but I also believe that God doesn't make mistakes. Scientist can do whatever they want to and if got doesn't want that child to be here it won't. God gave those doctors the ability to help people. They assist couples and then God grants the gift of life. If you go and study how conception actually occures there can be no doubt that God exist.

    Each and every baby is a gift from God no matter how they come to be. I have lost one baby and I pray we never have to go through that again. We are trying again and hopefully will be successfull and I will be able to carry a baby to full term.

    Thank God for the scientist and doctors willing to share their knowledge and gifts with us!

    August 6, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yum

      you distracted me with your love story of the summer.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • R

      Actually, there can be no doubt that biology exists "if you go and study how conception actually occures".
      Babies are not miracles. They are the result of reproductive systems that exist to do just that – continue the species. For those whose systems may be faulty, the babies created in laboratories still come from sperm and egg. Please tell me how a cellular process proves that God exists.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      who created the celluar process? F ing BEAKER???????????

      August 6, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
  27. duryea

    I cannot believe that you would post such a statement. Perhaps you are not a good dad.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. duryea

    Also, your intelligence is not too great either. You should have typed "their" and not "there" which indicates place and not people.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Squeezebox

    The Pope only disapproves of the means, not the end. There was never any doubt that Elizabeth would grow up to be a good person, but the act of her conception was cold and unloving. There are too many people in the world and there are children even in the US who would give anything to be adopted. In the meantime, the embryos who aren't lucky enough to be implanted are given a death sentence in the name of convenience or science.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fellicity

      There are too many people in the world due in part to the CC's stand against contraceptives. If every sperm is sacred, and we lived in a world where abortion and contraceptives were banned completely, would the church (or any church) be willing to foot the bill for the resulting population explosion and shortages in food, medicine and shelter? Would they take credit for the numbers of children who died from malnutrition or disease? Do they now? It seems a dead child conceived naturally is less important than a fertilized egg destroyed in a lab, given the church's logic.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • Congratulations Elizabeth!

      I work with couples who are experiencing fertility problems every single day. To say 'the act of her conception was cold and unloving" is wrong. The journeys of these men and women aren't simply physical challenges, but emotional roller coasters that require more love and support than I can even begin to describe. The devotion I see, the sheer determination to love and nurture a child, is absolutely inspiring. And, with respect to doctors and scientists playing God, I don't see it. Doctors and scientists can offer a way to improve the odds of conceiving, but they cannot create life. If they could, IVF would work every single time. It doesn't. To Elizabeth, congratulations! Being a mother is priceless. Thank you for sharing your story and being an inspiration to others. It's very much appreciated.

      August 6, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • TonyB


      If you are going to play in hypotheticals, you have to go the full distance. The Church's standpoint is that artificial contraception, abortion, and unwed and irresponsible pregnancies should all be eliminated; you left out that last part. The Church does more charity work in Africa where malnourishment, disease, etc. exist than any other organization, so that should answer your question. Mother Teresa made a life of caring for these very children you described.

      The Church advocates "family planning", meaning a scientific and natural way of avoiding pregnancy using body indicators of a menstrual cycle and abstinence, without the use of artificial contraceptives. This has a 90+% effectiveness rate.

      I'm not taking a side on this debate (in this post), but please don't criticize the Church's teachings without knowing the full story. And don't condemn the Church for abandoning children when the evidence supports it does more for those children than any other organization.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
  30. kate

    The Pope does not disapprove of anyone's existence. That would be like saying since a child was conceived through rape, which the Pope "disapproves of," that the Pope disapproves of the child. In the Catholic Church, all human life is treated with dignity and respect from the moment of conception. Catholics believe that children should only be conceived the "normal way," but once a child is conceived, they are one of God's children all the same. I hope Elizabeth understands this!

    August 6, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • R

      Dignity and respect? Is that what what the allowance of molestation is called now?

      August 6, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Alek

      That certainly seems consistent with Christ's message. Whenever he had a spare moment, Christ made sure to comment on the sins of going against nature, except when you're brining the dead back to life and turning water to wine.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • IVF Baby

      Unfortunately Kate, after being in correspondence. with the Vatican via a letter writing campaign, that is not the case. Apperantly, being conceived in this manner not only deprives the not-yet-child of a filial bond with his parents result from an abnormal, impersonal, and onholy conception and gestation. The breaking of traditional bonds so early on in life means a breaking of the bonds with God, at least according to the Vatican in 1987. I am not Catholic, but it bothers me to my soul that any faith will condemn someone befoer they have the chance to make a single choice of their own.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
  31. LOL

    I love you, troll.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Duh

    People...this DAD is pulling your chain; put that comment to see what kind of idiotic responses he or she could get outta people. Stop drinking the kool-aid folks!

    August 6, 2010 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. EJ

    Looks like they didn't have a chance to start with to me. Wonder if they would pick another dad? One that could spell.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. seph

    Sounds more like poor parenting skills! I feel bad that your kids have a dad like you.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • seph

      comment was for IVF dad

      August 6, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  35. robertnome

    Test tube babies taste better.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. seph

    Sounds more like poor parenting skills! I feel bad that your kids have a dad like you.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Wayne

    Hmmm....sounds like "there" fahter had much more to do with "their" intelligence than IVF. Perfect example of the apple not falling far from the tree.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Yum

    my k3yboard isn t working

    August 6, 2010 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Gatlin

    I would like Ravi not to exist. 😀

    August 6, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jane Freeman

    Good for her and her husband. All the best to their family.

    To the writer of this piece: EDIT! – Why is it "GeorgEanna" and then "GeorgIanna" in the same sentence?! Come on!
    The doctors who helped bring her into the world, Dr. Howard Jones and his wife Georgeanna, were more like grandparents to her, she says. Dr. Georgianna Jones died in 2005.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • elandau

      Thanks for catching that, Jane. It's fixed now.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
  41. D

    Really, seriously?? You actually post that for the world to see? wow, I'm stunned

    August 6, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. mimommy

    I love how people say her being alive is proof of god, it's a miracle, & find other ways to infuse god into this discussion. If god wanted her parents to have children why werent their prayers answered thru him instead of science? What about all the infertile couples for centuries before her? If u believe in god and his will, why do u think your plans and your will is better or wiser than his??? Why circumvent your gods will to get what u want, if thats what u truly believe?

    August 6, 2010 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Gatlin

    Your gal should have used a sperm donor 😀 LOL

    August 6, 2010 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Duh

    I believe in God and I believe that he/she gave us the brains to do the things we do; create medicine and ways to have babies with a little bit of help AND he/she has even given people with very little intelligence the ability to blog over the WORLD WIDE WEB; you know the one that Al Gore created!

    August 6, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Edward

    If a petri-dish baby is born deaf, what language does it think in?

    August 6, 2010 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mike

    I too consider myself to be a Christian and I believe that my Son, who was born via an assisted pregnancy, is a miracle from God. When you experience 8 miscarriages and you see a once beating heart stop beating so many times you too would feel this way. The even bigger miracle is that we were able to conceive our 3 week old daughter naturally. To those of you who say that the conception is "cold and unloving" you have no understanding of the emotional investment that couples put into this process. Yes, the point of conception is not ideal, but once conception occurs and the child is placed in the loving womb of the Mother, there is no greater love and no greater emotional attachment.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenna

      100% AGREE!! Congratulations on your children.

      August 6, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  47. Brant

    "She also notes that the pope still disapproves of IVF and so, in a sense, disapproves of her existence." Huh? Someone please try to explain that logic.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. PiercedPsycho

    I wish on my second cousin's behalf that IVF didn't exist. Their mother was and continues to be a gold digger. She married their father late in life, became pregnant via IVF in her mid-50s (he was in his 60s), smoked and drank profusely during both pregnancies, and now is pretty much a widowed grandmother raising two teenagers. They grew up watching their father waste away due to cancer, and both have an unnatural fascination with violence and blood. By twelve, I know the oldest had already been drunk at least once. The few times I've been around them, I've seen them brutally attack each other, and once they both ganged up on my sister and I, when we were 19 and 16. They know no one their own ages due to home schooling.

    August 6, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Duh


      August 6, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
    • Alek

      I can't tell if this is real or not. I sure hope it isn't.

      August 6, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • SusanRenee

      Obviously this is a result of their upbringing and environment, and not of their means of conception.

      August 6, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  49. What?

    Yum, sounds more like your brain isn't working...

    August 6, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Lilarose in Oregon

    Who cares what the pope thinks. He has enough oddities on his plate, like priests who are attracted to little boys and, hey! The pope himself practices birth control! Isn't being celibate the same thing as a form of birth control?

    August 6, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alek

      The Pope is an idiot. "Raping boys – OK. Perfectly natural. Having babies without sex? Burn forever!"

      August 6, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
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