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Surrogacy

Rabbi Gideon WeitzmanElul 23, 5777
120
Question
What effect does surrogacy have on the religious status of the baby in the case of a non Jewish surrogate? If it is just the father’s sperm and the non jewish surrogate’s egg, I understand that there will need to be a conversion but what about if it is the Father’s sperm and mother’s egg fertilised through IVF before being inseminated into the surrogate? Then there is not genetic connection to the surrogate but does Jewish identity just come from the mother’s egg or is it connected to the act of physically carrying the baby in the mother’s womb? Where does the notion of a soul and a Jewish identity derive from?
Answer
Shalom, This is a very complex issue with opinions on all sides. Some hold that the mother is the egg donor and her status determines whether the child will be Jewish, others are of the opinion that the birth mother is the most important factor and if she is Jewish the child will be Jewish. Some hold that if either the egg donor or the birth mother are not Jewish the child will need to be converted. In practical cases a couple will consult with their own Rabbi who will guide them through this process. Kol Tuv
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