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Jun 10 2013

A Non-Jewish Surrogate Gave Birth To My Son, And Then We Held a Conversion Ceremony

By at 10:54 am

Boy under waterThanks to a New York Times article, there was quite a bit of discussion last week about whether a baby conceived with a non-Jewish egg donor but carried and raised by a Jewish women is considered Jewish.  And here on Kveller, Jordana Horn eloquently proposed that rather than question the identity of such a baby, we should embrace this child into Jewish life, with which I wholeheartedly agree.  As long as any child or family considers itself Jewish and lives accordingly, should it matter what a small group of Rabbis declares is that child’s identity?  No, of course not.

That said, two weeks ago my husband and I took our four-year-old son to the mikveh to complete his conversion.

Our younger son S. was born through gestational surrogacy.  He is 100% biologically our child but was carried by another women, in our case a non-Jewish woman.

My husband and I have no doubt S. is Jewish.  Neither does S.  He sang the Ma Nishtanah at our Seder, sings Shalom Aleichem each Shabbat, and will spontaneously burst into Adon Olam, to the tune of Call Me Maybe, while playing with Legos.  But because of the circumstances of his birth, there are those who might question whether S. is indeed Jewish. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 7 2011

Weekly Roundup: Divorce Drawings, Twiblings, and the Downside of Crying

By at 11:28 am

All the Jewish parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read.

- A program called Kids’  Turn encourages children of divorce to express their feelings through art. Though the drawings are definitely too depressing to hang on any refrigerator, it’s actually pretty impressive that the program allows children to deal with their grief in a way that gets out their deeper feelings. (Huffington Post)

- Is it possible for one set of twins to be birthed by two different women? Kind of, according to Melanie Thernstrom. In her New York Times Magazine cover story, Thernstrom writes about the birth of her “twiblings”, who were created using her husband’s sperm and eggs from a single donor. Two embryos were then implanted into two different surrogates on the same day, resulting in genetic siblings who were born 5 days apart. Over at The Sisterhood, Debra Nussbaum Cohen reflects on how much joy can be found amidst all the complication. (NYT)

- It’s scientifically official: women’s tears are a turnoff for men. A new study from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science has found that seeing a woman cry can actually lower a man’s level of testosterone and signal that “now is not the right time” to get it on. What seems highly one-sided is that they are only now starting to test the effect of men’s tears because not enough men responded to their original call for “good criers.” What a bunch of scaredy cats! (WSJ)

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