23 February, 2005
My husband and I have been trying to conceive a child for over one year now. We started practicing the laws of family purity 3 months ago. Prior to practicing family purity, we underwent tests suggested by a doctor, to determine if there were any infertility problems. All the tests came out fine; however, after 18 months we have been unable to conceive.
An infertility specialist diagnosed unexplained infertility, and suggested artificial insemination. I am very depressed and anxious to learn what Jewish Law says about artificial insemination.
I am 33 years old, with a regular cycle, and ovulating normally. I'm growing anxious about not being able to conceive, and this is creating lots of marriage issues.
Can someone provide the halachic position on artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination (both vaginal and intrauterine) is permitted with the husband's sperm. Not only is it permitted, but, since the commandment of procreating is highly valued, it may be encouraged. Whether to permit this procedure when the wife is niddah is a matter of rabbinic debate.
Artificial insemination by a donor is a matter of serious halachic debate. Many authorities prohibit this practice. As the commandment be fruitful and multiply applies only to the husband, use of donor sperm does not fulfill this commandment and thus there is little justification for this intervention. Those who permit it prefer a non Jewish donor to prevent the possibility of future marriage between siblings.
It is important to have Halachic guidance throughout the process. Such guidance is provided by Machon Puah.
We wish you much success, and hope to hear good news. If you have specific questions about hilchot niddah, please feel free to ask through our website.
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