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

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Halachic Supervision for Assisted Reproductive Technology

Some halachic authorities require hashgacha (halachic supervision) of assisted reproductive technology–in laboratory procedures and during egg retrieval, insemination, or embryo transfer. Supervision is intended to ensure that the egg, sperm or embryos used in a procedure are as agreed upon with the couple, and to confirm the lineage of children conceived through ART. Halachic supervision is particularly widespread in Israel, where it is readily available.

However, since licensed ART clinics already employ extensive labeling and verification procedures that are recognized by halacha, other halachic authorities permit ART without outside verification.

Rabbanim and couples who follow the view that halachic supervision is not obligatory may nevertheless choose halachic supervision for an additional layer of confidence. Still, a desire for extra assurance should not override medical factors in scheduling a procedure or choosing an ART clinic. Halachic supervision can also sometimes place a financial burden on a couple, and that should be taken into account.

To discuss these issues further, couples can arrange a personal consultation with a Nishmat Fertility Counselor, a Yoetzet Halacha who has completed additional specialized training in this area. Consultations are free and can take place in person, by phone, or via internet conference.

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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.

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