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, the religious status of a child carried by a non-Jewish surrogate is subject to debate. In practice, babies born from procedures involving non-Jewish surrogates or egg donors often undergo conversion in early infancy to ensure that they are considered Jewish according to all opinions.

To discuss this further, we invite you to 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.

This response was updated on 8 April, 2021.


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