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Chief rabbi says woman implanted with wrong embryo is mother under Jewish law

Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau visits the Neve Shmuel High School in Efrat on October 17, 2021. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)
Israel's Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau visits the Neve Shmuel High School in Efrat on October 17, 2021. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau has said that the woman who was mistakenly implanted with a fetus that was not genetically hers, and gave birth to a girl yesterday, is the mother under Jewish law.

In a letter in response to a question on the issue, Lau argued that in situations like these the woman who carries the baby is considered the mother and not the biological donor of the egg, the Srugim news site reports.

Lau’s position would also seem to apply to all cases of surrogate pregnancy.

His opinion on the matter does not carry any legal weight.

The error occurred during fertility treatments at Rishon Lezion’s Assuta Medical Center, which has yet to determine the biological parents.

The new parents have said they plan to raise the baby as their own and have asked for genetic testing to be stopped, fearing others could claim the child.

However, Lau said it was important for the biological parents to be found to prevent a case in the future that the child could unwittingly marry a brother.

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