The Be’er Sheva Regional Rabbinical Court held that a minor born of a donated egg would not be recognized as a Jew, although the egg donor is listed as Jewish in the Population Register, Ynet reported Wednesday.
The child’s mother who wanted to determine the status of her minor son was refused because the donor identity secrecy prevents the court from investigating the donor’s Judaism.
According to the judges, the interior ministry’s records are not in accordance with Jewish law—they are certainly more lax than the rabbinate’s—therefore additional examination of the donor’s Jewish status is needed as a condition for determining the child’s religious status.
The Attorney General demands that the donor’s identity be kept secret and refuses to reveal it, because this would will deter future Jewish women who wish to donate eggs, fearing that their identity would be exposed.
This means that the minor will never be able to prove his Jewish status.
The rabbinical tribunal’s precedence could have far-reaching consequences regarding the personal status of many other Israelis born of donated eggs.
Israeli surrogacy law states that one of the conditions for egg donation is that the donor and recipient be both of the same faith, to avoid future doubts about the child’s status.
The AG, who was added to the case because of the public significance of the issue, supported the mother’s request, but was rejected. He argued that the data contained in the population registry is reliable, and that the Rabbinical tribunal is not authorized to order the disclosure of donor information appearing in the Ministry of Health’s database for an evaluation of her Judaism.
The Jewish Law Unit in the Justice Ministry told the rabbinical panel that it is sufficient that the egg donor is listed in the Population Register as Jewish, since there is “an absolute chance that the donor is Jewish.”