March
03
 

Israeli sperm donor wants his stuff back

A fascinating case is unfolding in Israel pitting a anonymous sperm donor against a woman who demands his sperm. The arguments are worthy of a novel – or at least an afternoon soap opera.

As reported in Haaretz, Galit (not her real name), a 39-year-old single mother living in Florida, has conceived a daughter with the sperm of an Israeli donor. She purchased five more samples and stored them in a sperm bank. However, when she decided to conceive another child, she was told that the man had withdrawn his consent. After a religious conversion he felt remorseful about allowing his sperm to be used by a woman he did not know to conceive a child he did not love.

Galit was outraged at this injustice and launched a lawsuit. Her daughter must have a biological full-sibling, she contends. “It is out of the question for a sperm donor to change his mind,” she told Haaretz. “I planned a family, and then, one fine day, after donating sperm - and who knows how many children he has already - he changes his mind. He changed his way of life, but what about my way of life?”

The High Court of Justice was sympathetic, but supported the sperm donor’s right of autonomy. “One can understand the viewpoint of a person who, after thinking it over, reached the conclusion - which he had not entertained when he decided, for various reasons, to donate sperm - that he does not want children to be born from his sperm, because he did not choose them or their mother, has no ties with them and will not raise them.”

Galit begs to differ. “All through the judgment the justices refer to his feelings, but no one mentioned my feelings. I am a mother raising a daughter alone.” She plans to appeal the ruling.



This article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge.org under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

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