Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Donating eggs

17 March, 2005

Question:

Having gone through infertility myself and being blessed with a boy and two girls, I am considering becoming an egg donor. I would love to help someone else have children. Is there a halchic problem with donating my eggs? Should I donate to a Jewish couple, or is non-Jewish a better option?

Thank you again for this service and all of the excellent information you provide.


Answer:

Your desire to help others is commendable.  As the clinical use of egg donation is a relatively new phenomenon, there is not yet halachic consensus on this procedure.  There is thus debate as to whether the status of the child is based on the egg donor, the woman carrying the child, or both. This answer to that question is important for deciding whether a Jewish egg donor (not closely related to either spouse) or a non-Jewish donor should be used.  

With a Jewish donor, one would have to worry about preventing the child from later marrying siblings from any side, which is not the case with a non Jewish donor.  As a Jewish donor, the preference would be for you to donate to a Jewish couple who had received a ruling to seek a Jewish donor.  A condition of donating would be participation in a registry system whereby your identity could be known, in order to avoid the aforementioned problems. 

There are a number of halachic issues involved in artificial reproductive technology.  It is best to contact a center that is familiar with these issues (note that the MD should not be giving the halachic answers).  You can contact Machon Puah for counsel on these issues and for center recommendations.


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