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"All couples should be conscientious in their childbearing decisions."
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Genetic Testing
In today's times, the scientific community has found ways to determine the likelihood of children being born with genetic disorders. Couples, especially those who have a family history of such disorders, rightly seek to know whether or not they carry within them genetic defects that may manifest in their children.

As pastoral ministers, how do we respond to questions regarding genetic counseling when preparing couples for Christian marriage? We begin with the following premise:

"Genetic counseling may be provided in order to promote responsible parenthood and to prepare for the proper treatment and care of children with genetic defects, in accordance with Catholic moral teaching and the intrinsic rights and obligations of married couples regarding the transmission of life." -Ethical and Religious Directives #54.

All couples should be conscientious in their childbearing decisions. Genetic testing, if accurate, is an acceptable means to gather information in order to be conscientious. It may even be obligatory with a view toward the potential child’s well being. Today, some defects can be corrected safely in utero or shortly after birth.

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