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Beth Din Decision: Fatherhood Through Artificial Insemination Involves Obligations

The rabbinical Beth Din in Haifa issued today a decision said to have no precedent in Jewish jurisprudence–that fatherhood through artificial insemination is equivalent to natural fatherhood, and involves the same paternal obligations. The decision was handed down in the case of a man whose wife gave birth to triplets–two girls and a boy–after artificial insemination with the husband’s own sperm following years of childlessness. Soon afterward, the husband sued for divorce. The wife, now 28, agreed, provided he paid for the children’s support. He refused on grounds that he was not the legal father. The Beth Din decided otherwise, advising the man that if he wanted a divorce he must pay for the children’s upbringing.