Rabbis do not object to artificial insemination using a husband’s
sperm. The only constraint is the way the sperm from the husband is
obtained. The same rules for the mode of sperm collection that are
set for sperm testing apply for artificial insemination by husband.
Conservative rabbis permit masturbation for production of semen for
artificial insemination of the man’s wife.
donated sperm and/or ovum is tricky in the eyes of Jewish law, and
the question has been the source of many modern-day questions posed
to Jewish legal code experts.
rabbis construe artificial insemination of a married woman with a
donor’s sperm as akin to adultery, deeming the children born as a
result of this procedure “mamzerim,” which are children born
of certain forbidden relationships between two Jews. Mamzerim
include ones born from a married woman as a product of adultery or
those born as a product of incest between certain close relatives.
Other orthodox rabbis do not consider artificial insemination by
donor adultery per se, since sexual relations had not occurred,
however they still proclaim it an abomination and strongly
discourage it. One of the great issues that arise is the
possibility for incestuous relationship between siblings. Since the
donor is usually unknown, children produced by the artificial
insemination might marry children of the donor and his wife, thus
coupling with their biological half sister or brother. This is why
Orthodox Rabbis in general prohibit artificial insemination by
Judaism takes a different stance than the Orthodox regarding
artificial insemination by donor. Conservative Rabbis agree that
the insemination by a donor does not constitute adultery. With
regard to the possibility of incest of the subsequent generation,
these rabbis strongly recommend that as much of the donor’s medical
history and personal characteristics should be revealed to the
social father and the child.
disagree with the concerns raised by the Orthodox and Conservative
Judaism that there might be a possibility for a child conceived
through artificial insemination by donor to marry his biological
sibling. They believe that the likelihood of this happening is too
farfetched to be a concern.
Rabbi Nina Beth
Cardin recommends, in her book Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope,
several biblical verses to be said at the time of the procedure.
One of them, aptly from the account of Creation, “And God said: Let
the waters swam with all sorts of swarming things, that beat with
the pulse of life… And God blessed them, and said: ‘Be fertile and
grow and fill the waters with life.’” (Genesis 1:20,22)
Conservative and Reform Rabbis differ in opinion from the
Orthodox point of view. Read more about the different
therapies and the Jewish Perspective of the major streams of