Jan 1, 2013

Interesting Psak: Choosing Gender of Baby

According to this article in Yisrael HaYom, Machon Puah is going to be announcing tomorrow at their conference that in certain situations it will be allowed for a person to select the gender of their baby. Unfortunately it does not say which rav, and I assume they would only publicize such a psak if it came from a gadol, authorized it.

Rav Menachem Burshtein, head of Puah Institute, explains that there are three possibilities for selecting the gender of a baby:

  1. the more natural way of working around the ovulation schedule and scheduling sexual relations accordingly, in order to have a better chance at whichever gender you prefer.
  2. putting the sperm into a machine that separates the female sperm and the male sperm and only using the male sperm to fertilize the egg.
  3. IVF - in vitro fertilization
Until now, the rabbonim have not allowed people to select their preferred gender of baby. Any intervention by the parents was seriously frowned upon.

Recently, Rav Burshtein says, their has been an increased number of requests, and sometimes it is a very serious emotional issue, it can sometimes be allowed using methods 2 and 3. The first method, the natural way, is always allowed, but it does not always work, and is not always so easy to calculate properly.

Rav Burshtein says, for example, that in a situation of a couple that has six or seven daughters and the father really wants a boy to the point that it can become a shalom bayis issue, the issue of gender selection will be weighed by a panel of rabbonim who are psychologists and the relevant health committees, and sometimes it might be possible for a favorable halachic decision.


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1 comment:

  1. Dial back in in x years (I would say 20 but given the technology curve it may be less unless we blow up the world lo aleinu) when the question will be genetic engineering for being the best boy in the Yeshiva.
    In the meantime get ready for coaches as to how to be sure you get approval for what you want to do (and as R' Wein's stroy goes Un voz zogt gott?)
    "Joel Rich


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