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

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Non-Jewish surrogate

19 August, 2003

Question:

My husband and I (both Jewish) are having a baby through a non-Jewish surrogate. The baby is genetically ours – my egg and my husband's sperm were fertilized and placed in our surrogate's uterus so she could carry the baby (as I am unable to carry a pregnancy). We have heard varying opinions on whether we need to convert the baby once s/he is born. What is the ruling on this as far as you know?

Thank you.


Answer:

Although the baby is genetically yours, most authorities consider the birthing mother to be the one who determines the child's halachic status. In this case, the birthing mother is not Jewish. Therefore, according to most opinions, the child is halachically not Jewish and would require conversion — at the least one mandated by doubtful Jewish status. 

The details of the conversion should be worked out with your local rabbi.


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