Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NYMag: Israeli Donor Egg Farming

no. 348

By Kira Peikoff

NY Magazine

April 9, 2007

The entire text is posted at this blog’s Annex.


"There is a shortage of Jewish in vitro eggs. Hopeful parents are turning to the Promised Land. "

Here’s a riddle for your rabbi: If your baby is born from in vitro fertilization, and the donated egg isn’t from a Jewish woman, is the baby really Jewish? Although different branches of Judaism have different answers—Reform says it’s about how the kid’s raised; Orthodox rabbis tend to believe a conversion is necessary—many parents want to make sure their child is a member of the tribe down to its DNA. The problem is there aren’t enough Jewish eggs to go around. So a new type of yenta has arrived on the IVF scene who finds suitable donors, usually from Israel, to match with Americans seeking to become pregnant.”

My observations:

As the full article notes “Israelis may identify more strongly with infertile couples because of their society’s strong pressure to reproduce”. Based on Rachel’s site and other information I have seen IVF and related ART techniques are much more common and accepted in Israel based on societal pressure. My only concerns, beyond the normal issues surrounding the donor conceived created, is whether the women donating are putting aside their health issues and risks for a chance at the money offered. The article certainly closes on the exorbitant monies they can earn.


Rachel Inbar said...

It sounds like it's young women who are after the money... In Israel there are no paid donations and the women who donate eggs are those going through IVF cycles themselves (we've had several cases of egg-stealing by doctors too). I wonder how these women will feel a few years from now - whether at 20 they're really mature enough to understand the implications.

Ryan said...

I read something a while back, a rabbi discussing the ramifications of artificial insemination (and egg donation, I guess) as it related to Judaism.

The tone of the discussion was pretty serious, which bothered me. We are talking about what will eventually be human beings here, and it seems a little backwards to me to make blanket declarations about a child's religious standing before they're even conceived. Of course, you have to remember that I have a personal stake here.

If my parents had been Jewish, I might not have come into being just because some rabbi thought I was unethical. Compared to not existing, I'd rather be a sin-baby...

ivf2women said...

My wife gave birth to our kids after my eggs were fertilized and transferred to her womb. Donor and I are Jewish, wife is not. Reform Rabbi said "raise them Jewish and they're Jewish". Conservative Rabbi said kids had to be converted even though they are genetically Jewish. We did it, just to be on the safe side. I have been writing about my search for Jewish embryo recipients at