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. With egg donation there is halachic debate as to whether the religious status of the child is based on the egg donor, the woman carrying the child, or both.

The preference would be for you to donate to a Jewish couple who had received a ruling to seek a Jewish donor. However, Jewish donors raise halachic concerns about the child unwittingly marrying a sibling. Therefore, a condition of donating would be participation in a registry system. Unfortunately, such systems have not been widely implemented.

An additional consideration is the potential psychological effect on you or your children of the existence of half-siblings who are not family members. There are also a number of halachic issues involved in assisted reproduction in general.

To discuss this further, we recommend 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.

This response was updated on 12 April, 2021.


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