Surrogate Motherhood Revisited: Maternal Identity from a Jewish Perspective

Jotkowitz, Alan
December 2011
Journal of Religion & Health;Dec2011, Vol. 50 Issue 4, p835
Academic Journal
A new bill regulating ovum donation in Israel is set to pass its second and third readings in the Israel Parliament in the upcoming months. The new law will expand the number of locally donated ova available, as previously Israeli women were prohibited from donating eggs unless they were undergoing fertility treatment. Parallel to this legislative initiative, there has been a change in rabbinical thinking over who is considered the mother in a case of surrogacy. Previously, the consensus has been that the birth mother is to be considered the mother, but over the last few years there has been a change in thinking and the genetic mother is now considered the mother. The purpose of this paper is to present the ethical and legal issues from a Jewish perspective in determining maternal identity. The dilemma also demonstrates some of the difficulties in applying Talmudic law to modern problems and the various methodologies used to overcome these issues.


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