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Paper Information

Journal:   INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FERTILITY AND STERILITY   SUMMER 2011 , Volume 5 , Number SUPPLEMENT 1; Page(s) 86 To 87.
 
Paper: 

ORAL PRESENTATIONS: GAMETE AND EMBRYO DONATION: AN ISLAMIC VIEW

 
 
Author(s):  SAMANI R.O.*, EZABADI Z., REZANIA MOALEM M.R.
 
* MEDICAL ETHICS AND HISTORY OF MEDICINE RESEARCH CENTER, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Background: Every day, many children are born by assisted reproductive techniques. For some infertile couples have no other way to have a child except donation. So far, there are too many children are born by donation protocols or surrogacy. As in donation protocols and surrogacy, a third party helps the couple by sharing gamete, embryo or uterus, there can be some social, legal and psychological complications for the children born by these protocols that should be considered, discussed and clarified. Although there have been many discussions about the donation itself that is forbidden (haram) or OK (halal), still, it is in controversy between religious leaders. In the third conference of the Islamic Fiqh Council (held in Amman, Jordan, October 11 – 16, 1986) the Council banned all kinds of donations. But in Iran, these procedures are practiced every day. It should be faced that children born by donation and surrogacy is a social fact, so, there must be a guideline for addressing their rights in the Islamic contexts, even when the procedure itself is “haram” (forbidden). Lack of such knowledge could put the children into many psychological and social problems. Upon Islam, there are some rights and relations between parents and children are directly linked to the lineage of the children and cannot be passed to the others. The example of this kind of right is inheritance. Upon Islam the inheritance goes only to the real children of the deceased. This right is directly linked to the lineage of the children and cannot pass on the others, even people cannot make a will for the whole of their properties and they can do it for just one third of their properties. From parent-child rights and relations, intimacy and inheritance is linked to the lineage, but custody, expenditure and guardianship can be handed over to other people in especial situation. For example if the real father of a child is addict and cannot protect his child, Islamic court can give the custody of the child to his uncle or grandfather who are healthy people. But this child will never inherit from his uncle or grandfather, similar as his own father. Intimacy is also linked to the lineage and intimacy “mahramiat” is very important in the family. Without intimacy between two people, females should were “hijab” means they must cover their hairs in front of non-intimate males. But real brothers and sister are intimates together and there is no need for “hijab” between them.
The first Fatwa on assisted reproduction techniques was made in by Gad Al-Haq, Mufti of Egypt in 1980 permitting IVF and banning donation. As said before, in the third conference of the Islamic Fiqh Council (held in Amman, Jordan, October 11 – 16, 1986) the Council banned all kinds of donations. The council gave the following reasons: mixing of lineage and similarity to adultery. Comparison of these programs with adultery is mentioned that because donor is someone out of the married couple. Upon Islam, adultery is condemned, but adultery has an obvious definition in which there should be a man and a woman touching each other. On the contrary, in donation, donor and recipient even don’t know each other and in most of the cases never see each other. Although donation is not accepted by all the clergies, but it is in agreement that there is no similarity between donation and adultery. Moreover, adultery ruins the families but donation program saves the families from psychological pressure and danger of divorce. About confusion or mixing the lineage, there is no confusion! The lineage of these children is completely clear as discussed in the followings.
On the mother side, there are two mothers: infertile mother and third party. We can conclude that both mothers are real mothers and lineage of the child goes back to both of them, and so, all other mother-child relations including: intimacy, custody and inheritance are sustained. Now the question is how these rights can be given over other mother. The answer is: when donor or surrogate anonymity is kept, child’s identity goes back to the social mother (the only real mother) who has all the children-parent rights.
Father is simpler; according to Islam, as the gamete leaves the father’s body, and the social father has nothing with the early growth of the embryo, the real father is the sperm donor.

 
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