Current Legal Issues


    • (19) Artificial Insemination

(56) It is not permissible to inseminate a woman with the sperm of a man, other than her husband, irrespective of whether or not she was married. It makes no difference whether husband and wife consented to the act or not. Likewise, if insemination is done by the husband or another man.
(57) A woman was inseminated with the sperm of a stranger; she conceived and gave birth to a baby. If this happened accidentally, in that she was inadvertently inseminated by another manís sperm, there is no ishkal that such a child be treated as t he offspring of the man whose sperm was used in the process. In a way it is akin to sexual intercourse by error (bishubha).

If, however, this was deliberately done and with intent, it is likely that the child be treated as the offspring of the owner of sperm. Thus, all rules regarding pedigree and inheritance apply. This is being so, for he who is exempt from inheritance is the offspring of an adulterous relationship. The child, the subject of this article, is not the same, albeit the act that led to conceiving his seed was haraam.

Most likely, the same rules apply to treating him as the offspring of the mother, even in the second case. As such, there will be no difference between him and his half brothers [from his mother].

Similarly, a woman placed the semen of her husband into the vagina of another woman by some means, such as clitorism (musahaqah). The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a child. In this case, the father of the child will be the one, whose semen was used, and the woman, who bore and gave birth to it, albeit the act that led to this situation was haraam.

(58) A femaleís egg was taken and placed in an artificial womb [tube] together with a manís sperm to be fertilised. The foetus [was transferred and implanted into the womb of the woman until it became] a fully grown baby. [The mother gave birth to it]. It is evident the child belongs to the man and woman whose semen and egg was used respectively. In such a case, all rules regarding pedigree and inheritance apply.

Of course, the child does not inherit any parent who died before the insemination took place.

(59) An inseminated egg of a woman was implanted in another womanís womb. The foetus was carried and nurtured by the second woman until she gave birth to the baby. Does the child belong to the first woman or the second?

Although the answer could go either way, The one that carries more weight, though, is that the baby belongs to the first woman. As a matter of ihtiyat, though, the second opinion could also be acted upon.

(60) It is permissible to inseminate the egg of a woman with her husbandís sperm.

Of course, it is not permissible for a stranger, other than the husband, to handle the process, if it required looking into or touching what is forbidden [of the womanís body]. The rules regarding the newly born bay by such means are the same as those that apply to the parentís other children.