Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Egg Donor's Religion

From Above the Law:

Choosing an egg donor can be a difficult decision. For most, it’s not the first or preferred path to parenthood, and it often presents substantial medical and financial obstacles. Plus, the choice of a specific donor will forever affect your child’s future. No pressure!

For some, a potential donor’s religion may be the most important factor. That’s particularly true where a religion has specific rules about parental lineage, and whether a child can be considered a member of the religion from birth. Famously, many Jewish denominations strictly follow matrilineal descendancy, where a child born to a Jewish mother is automatically Jewish at birth. Anyone else, according to these denominations, must go through a conversion process before becoming Jewish.

Recently, one Jewish Israeli couple turned to an egg donor for help conceiving. After the wife delivered the couple’s new baby, however, the couple received a disappointing ruling from the Israeli Rabbinical Court on the Jewish status of their child. Despite their careful choice of an anonymous egg donor that had been listed as Jewish in the Population Registry of the Interior Ministry of Israel — and the couple themselves being Jewish, including the mother who carried and delivered the baby — an Israeli Rabbinical Court rejected the child’s Jewish status.

Read more here.

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