About six months ago I went out to coffee with some friends who, after about an hour of chitchat, gently wondered aloud whether I might be interested in donating one of my eggs to a friend of theirs who was having trouble getting pregnant.
For me, this was a no-brainer. Though I’m all about fertility technology and want to be as supportive as possible to women and couples suffering from infertility, I also happen to come from a family with a shockingly thorough history of breast cancer (maternal great grandmother, grandmother, aunt and my mother). We have tested negatively for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, but we’ve been told that we’re at an extremely high risk for a breast cancer diagnosis before the age of 50, and considering how little progress there has been in cancer treatment lately I think it would be a kind of strange for me to donate my genes to some other family. Also, I’ve heard some not-so-great things about the egg extraction process before, and am not sure I’d feel safe with it.
So, I said no, but it got me thinking about the halakhic implications of being an egg donor. And apparently I’m not the only one. Check out this week’s Ask the Expert, in which our expert examines the connection between halakhic motherhood, and genetic motherhood.
And hey, if you have your own Jewish question, don’t be afraid to Ask the Expert yourself!