Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Israel Passes New Law On Egg Donation, Allowing Religion of Donor To Be Ascertained

According to Haaretz, Israel's Knesset yesterday approved a bill that for the first time in Israel allows women between the ages of 20 and 35 to donate their eggs for couples having difficulty conceiving a child. The law provides that a baby born through in vitro fertilization will be the legal child of the birth mother, not the egg donor. All egg donors are to remain anonymous, but a database will allow recipients of egg donations to check the religion of the donor. This is apparently a response to recent controversial rulings by some Israeli Orthodox rabbis that whether a child is Jewish under the rules of matrilineal descent turns on the religion of the egg donor, not the birth mother. Until recently, Orthodox authorities had generally considered the religion of the birth mother to control. This controversy was discussed in a Wall Street Journal piece last month. Haaretz says that the new law will also allow recipients to choose a donor in certain cases.