Friday, September 09, 2005

Conservative Judaism and Donor Insemination

Before my wife and I started down the road of agreeing to use DI to create our kids I was concerned how my kids would be recognized under Jewish law. I was concerned whether the kids would be considered illegitimate and not have rights as Jews. This post links via it's title to a position paper titled "Artificial Insemination, Egg Donation, and Adoption" as originally published in The United Synagogue Review/Fall 1994 issue.

It basically states that under Jewish Law it is a commandment to create children and that where biologically that is not possible but where science can provide a method, including DI, the child is fully recognized as legitimate. As opposed to the law of the State of New York where I am the legal father, Jewish Law only certifies me as the agent for the donor who is deemed the father. Not exactly the result I wanted but my main concern of legitimacy was addressed positively.

The paper does not address naming traditions nor does it address whether the children would also be considered Kohanim or Leviim based on the social or biological father's heritage but I will leave that for another day.

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