Parents Fight To Create Posthumous Grandchild
With all the discussions we have had about issues to do with IVF and surrogacy some of you may find the following article interesting.
Last fall, 27-year-old Ohad Ben-Yaakov was injured in an accident at his part-time job, and he died after two weeks in a coma. Ben-Yaakov wasn’t married, nor was he in a relationship. No woman was pregnant with his child. Nevertheless, his devastated parents believe it’s not too late for them to become the grandparents of his offspring. And because they live in Israel, the world capital of in-vitro fertilization and a country that regularly pushes the envelope on reproductive technologies, they might get their wish.
When Mali and Dudi Ben-Yaakov learned their son was brain dead, they had his sperm extracted. Now they’re awaiting the decision of Israel’s attorney general on whether they’ll be permitted to find a woman to bear their grandchild. “If we were entitled to donate the organs of our son why are we not entitled to make use of his sperm in order to bring offspring to the world?” they asked in Haaretz.
If their petition succeeds, it will be the latest legal and cultural innovation in a country that has already embraced the idea of posthumous parenthood and come closer than any other to acknowledging a right to grandparenthood. It’s not surprising that Israel, a society that is at once rooted in ancient faith and deeply invested in cutting-edge technology, has pioneered futuristic forms of procreation. The biblical emphasis on fruitfulness, when compounded by the legacy of the Holocaust and the demographic issues shaping the Middle East, have made Israeli society and public policy exceptionally pro-natalist. The country is aggressive in pushing the boundaries of reproductive technology. It has the world’s highest IVF rate: According to a 2006 paper prepared for the Knesset, 1,800 treatment cycles are performed each year per million people, compared to 240 in the United States. Its specialists are among the best on earth, and health insurance there covers unlimited IVF attempts, up to the birth of two live children. Israel was the first country in the world to legalize surrogate-mother agreements.
Read the rest at Jezebel.