Friday, July 13, 2012

The Rights of the Non Father

Very often, people will ask me questions about the process at Hadassah Hospital and their affiliation with the sperm bank, run by the very capable and discrete Ruth.  Inevitably, the follow up question is some version of, "Do you want another child, and can you use the same donor, so that Raphaela and her sibling will be related?'

The Israeli High Court of Justice may soon make a ruling that will define that critical issue in fertility treatments;  since Israel is on the cutting of fertility technology, they also tend to deal with cases that will set precedent for all the globe.

An Israeli woman currently living in the States bought all the 'product' of a particular donor, so that her daughter may have a sibling who is biologically related.  The donor, having become more religious since making the deposit, has decided that he does not want to father any other children anonymously, and has demanded that the sperm bank destroy whatever is left, despite the fact that the woman paid for it and technically owns it.

The reasoning behind the donor, and the State of Israel's legal position, is that the donor's right not to be a father against his will is stronger than the recipient's wish to have children who are biological siblings.  The donor has the right to change his mind.

The woman challenged the initial ruling, stating that the decision was unreasonable and "damaged her rights 'as a woman, an individual, a mother and a signatory of an agreement.' "  (Haaretz, Ronny Linder-Ganz, "Court to rule if sperm donor can renege" July 13, 2012)  She argues further that her case has repercussions for both married and single women who are considering using fertility treatments, and may feel the pressure to act sooner, before the donor flips his decision.

To quote Stan Lee, with great power comes great responsibility, and the medical world will surely be looking at this Israeli case for guidance.


Midlife Singlemum said...

Very intersting. I hadn't heard about this case. Please could you report the verdict whrn they give it. As the father has no obligations or rights towards the children and as they cannot even contact him or know who he is - it shouldn't affect his life once he has donated. Also, he was paid for the donation. It would be hard to see how he has anhy rights over sperm he 'sold'.

Midlife Singlemum said...

I winder what would be the case if the woman already had frozen embryos waiting to be transferred?