Sunday, June 11, 2006

Update: Surrogate Mothers and Evolving Halacha

Continuing on my previous posting, here is more of the same, from an English language source, YNetnews

In pioneering ruling, Chief Rabbi Amar permits impoverished woman to use services of married surrogate mother in order to bring child into world.

Israel's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar allowed a poor woman that went through five abortions to use a married surrogate to carry her child. The current Jewish and Israeli laws do not permit married women to serve as surrogates, and officials in Amar's office said that his decision represents a huge breakthrough.

The formal Surrogates Law, which was passed in 1996, rules that only unmarried women can serve as surrogates in Israel. Since the law was first legislated, the surrogacy committee at the Health Ministry approved 250 cases.

According to Jewish law, the problem of surrogacy is even bigger, as the newborn child of a surrogate mother is considered a bastard.

However, a few months ago Rabbi Amar was faced with a complicated case: He was presented with a request from a woman who told him that she had undergone five abortions during 13 years of marriage.

The woman claimed that she does not have the NIS 50,000 (USD 12000) required for a surrogacy. She also claimed that she met a married woman who is willing to carry her child for her free of charge.

After contemplating the case at length, Amar sent a latter to the committee permitting the surrogacy. The halachic jsutification was that it is the fetus that is being inserted into the surrogate's body, not the sperm.

Amar's ruling stirred a row in the rabbinical world. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed said in response that "this baby will live his life with a tag: 'Non-bastard according to Rabbi Amar'."

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Batya said...

Yes, again great news for some children desparate for kids.

Just a little "linguistics:"
In Hebrew there's one word "haplah" for both abortion and miscarriage, but in English they have different connotations or meanings. A miscarriage is an "unintended" loss of pregnancy/unborn baby, while an abortion is a procedure to intentially end a pregnancy when there's no desire for a viable child.

FrumGirl said...

Ok but how many would side with Rabbi Amar and consider this Kosher... sounds like a recipe for disaster....

Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for these ladies... but it just seems so wrong for it to be a married surrogate...!

Anonymous said...

I fear for this child living in a world in which the kannoim feel it is a mitzvah to harass him/her - beyond any "letter-of-the-law" diyuk having to do with marriagability.

rockofgalilee said...

It's the same story as Ruth and Boaz. Ploni Almoni refused to marry her because he was afraid of losing his portion in Israel. Even though there was a halachic ruling that a Jew could marry a moabite woman. Boaz said a psak is a psak and from them came King David.

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