Jewcy, my new favorite online publication (sorry Slate) has a piece on the search for a Jewish sperm donor. Two Jewish lesbians wanted to have a baby, and one of them talks about her decision to pursue (and ultimately let go) a Jewish sperm donor. Random coincidence: I happen to own her book Confessions of the Other Mother: Lesbian Non-biological Moms Tell All.
At any rate, this got me to thinking about egg/sperm donation and Jewish families. When I was in college my school newspaper often ran ads for egg donors. They generally wanted someone: "5'6 and above, Jewish, blue or green eyes, SAT of 1xxx or above, in good health, etc..." Well, that describes me to a T, and I'm not going to lie, $20,000 would be awesome. Granted, it is an intense, intrusive, and possibly painful process, but hey, the money's good, right? (Also FYI on Craigslist people are only offering $8000. Lame.)
But the possibility of egg donation brings up a few questions for me: according to Jewish law, what would my obligations be toward the child? Is it really preferable for the parents to choose a Jewish egg rather than a non-Jewish one? What about Jewish sperm, the issues of Kehuna (priestly status) come into play, right? While the commandment pru ur'vu* is one of the most heavily stressed, at what cost? Is it even permissible for me to donate eggs, if they go to a Jewish family? What about a non-Jewish one?
These are the times that I need a Rav.
*Pru ur'vu is Hebrew for "be fruitful and multiply" it is the first positive commandment found in the Hebrew Bible.
Update: in an amusingly unrelated incident, someone found our blog by googling "child bearing hips." Clearly they know me. And to a lesser extent, Harley.