Donating excess embryos
8 February, 2005
Are you familiar with embryonic adoption? I was wondering what the Halacha perspective is on this? (I know that within the Catholic communities they are advocating that catholic families who have gone through in vitro fertilization and have "extra embryos" that they are not planning on using are encouraged to explore having their exmbryos adopted by other Catholic Families. Therefore, in light of the Jewish view on family and birth control I would imagine this might be a Halachic concern as well) Are there any rabbis who have commented on this issue?
Excess embryos outside the womb have no halachic status. Thus they can be discarded and, technically, adoption does not apply to them.
Should Jews donate embryos, one halachic concern would be with keeping track of all of a couple's progeny to avoid any future chances of incest. However, in certain cases, it might be permitted for a Jewish couple to donate an embryo, under rabbinic guidance.
The best address for this question is Machon Puah: www.puahonline.org.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.