December 4, 2022

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.

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 However, when she decided to conceive another child, she was told that the man had withdrawn his consent.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.

Michael Cook
Creative commons
Israel
sperm donation