Jerusalem – A radical halachic ruling to be announced at a conference tomorrow at the Puah Institute – an organization which helps couples struggling with infertility in keeping with Jewish law – will allow parents to select the gender of their fetus under certain circumstances according to a report in Israel Hayom (http://bit.ly/VxFYrT).
Rabbi Menachem Burstein, founder of the Institute, explained that there are several ways to choose the gender of a fetus.
Until now, Rabbi Burstein said the rabbis have condemned such a practice because of various halachic issues. But because many parents desire to choose their future child’s gender from a “deep psychological need,” rabbis will now permit separating the chromosomes and in vitro fertilization as acceptable methods of gender selection.
“We have come across cases of people who felt it was important to have sons to carry on the family line because of the Holocaust, or families with six or seven daughters in which the father wants a son so much that it threatens the marriage,” Rabbi Burstein said.
“In cases like this, the matter will be examined by the appropriate rabbis, psychologists, medical committees, and clearly a Halachic compromise can be reached . . . It is easiest always to say no, but sometimes, if the rules can be eased or if solutions can be found, then we should strive for that.”