Thursday, December 26, 2019


Whose Baby Is This?

   by Reb Gutman Locks   


     The Torah says, "…If a woman conceives and gives birth…"[i] Why does the Torah have to tell us that she conceives and gives birth? Do we not already know that she had to conceive in order to give birth? Well, today this is not necessarily the case. There are many women who give birth to babies whose egg and seed were conceived in the womb of another woman and were then implanted in the womb of the woman who went on to give birth.

     Now the question comes up; When it comes to determining if the baby is a Jew or not, which one of the women is the baby's mother, the donor or the deliverer?   

     For now, there are at least four different opinions from major Torah Law sources.  Some say that the woman who delivered the baby is the baby's mother. Some say that the woman who donated the egg is the baby's mother. Some say both women are the baby's mothers, and some say in order to be sure, both the baby born by a non-Jewish woman who received the egg from a Jewish donor, and a baby born of a Jewish mother but the egg was donated from a non-Jewish woman have to go through conversion in order to be Jews.

     There are many other Jewish Law issues that have to be dealt with when an implant is used; such as who is the baby related to, in order to know who the baby can marry.

      But in the Torah's case, "If a woman conceives and gives birth…." none of these problems are an issue.


[i] Genesis 25:1


  1. In the event history ever reaches the point where babies in certain circumstances are born via artificial womb / Ectogenesis, would it be correct to assume the determining factor of whether a baby conceived in such a scenario is Jewish or not is based exclusively on the egg donor?

    Another related question focusing on the egg donor would be regarding 3 or even multi-parent babies via mitochrondrial replacement therapy and other means, particularly if the female recipient egg is Jewish and the female donor egg is not Jewish. -

    Additionally curious to know the Halakhic implications of skin cells into egg cells and used them to create viable offspring without the use of actual eggs.

  2. Reb Gutman

    This is truly a fascinating subject.
    We may in our lifetimes see people who are cloned.
    And we may see people who are hybrids with another species, possibly even aliens.

    Sure, this all sounds like science fiction. But 100 years ago so did landing on the moon.

  3. This problem proves the insanity of the times when a child, c'v, can have a few parents and wouldn't know who he/she really is. A Jewish woman who truly believes in G-D should never put herself in a position where she would take a non-Jewish woman to give birth for her. The only rational answer to this question which should never have to be proposed, is that the one donating the egg is the real mother. If, c'v, a woman cannot give birth naturally, then what about adopting a child who needs parents and which would also be a mitzvah. I am speaking about a Jewish woman, of course. Also, an adopted child should always be told who his/her biological parents are. Where has common sense gone? This type of technology does not belong in the Jewish realm,


Welcome to Mystical Paths comments. Have your say here, but please keep the tone reasonably civil and avoid lashon hara. Due to past commenting problems, all comments are moderated (this may take a few hours.)

Your comments are governed by our Terms of Use, Privacy, and Comments policies. We reserve the right to delete or edit your comments for any reason, or use them in a future article. That said, YOU are responsible for YOUR comments - not us.

Related Posts with Thumbnails