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Friday, May 25, 2012

Ba’al Teshuva Wants His Sperm Back

Mother fights to keep sperm obtained to allow her to have biologically related kids; newly religious donor changed his mind

A single mother has petitioned the High Court of Justice this week to allow her to complete the artificial insemination process she had started using a sperm donor – despite the fact the donor has decided to withdraw his contributions for newfound religious reasons.

Four years ago, the woman, Y., now 38, turned to the sperm bank with the purpose of starting a family. She chose a donor and underwent the necessary treatments, and two years later gave birth to a daughter. Due to her desire to eventually have another child using the same donor, she obtained five additional units of his semen and had them frozen.

Y. decided to get pregnant again a year later. The first round of insemination treatments was unsuccessful. She was about to undergo the second round in March when the sperm bank called to inform her that the donor has become religious and has requested the institution to avoid using his semen again.

"I was shocked to find out I couldn't use the sperm," Y. told Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday. "From the very beginning I wanted my children to be biologically related. That was the reason I kept additional sperm units from the same donor. I think my daughter has the right to have a brother or a sister who share the same genes."


The sperm bank was dumbfounded by the unique situation as well, and turned to the Health Ministry's legal officials, who ruled that the donor may indeed change his mind.

But Y. refused to give up her dream.

"I filed the petition in order expand my family, which I am currently barred from doing," she said. "I am doing this for my daughter."

The mother said she had insisted that the case be open to the public in order to help other women who might find themselves in a similar situation.

In the meantime, Supreme Court Justice Noam Solberg has prohibited the sperm bank from destroying the contested semen.

The court is now awaiting the Health Ministry's rebuttal to the mother's petition. The ruling in the case will set precedent when it comes to sperm donors' ability to rescind their contributions.

"Y. Has full rights to these units," her attorney Gali Nagdai said.

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