Man who refused to divorce his wife asks for embryo in exchange for annulment

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A man who has refused to give his wife a divorce certificate in the past 18 months demanded that she grant him the right to use a frozen embryo created for the couple several years ago as part of a surrogacy procedure before he agrees to end the marriage. According to the Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ), which advised the woman, the rabbinical judges strongly recommended that she accept the request in order to avoid becoming a long-term aguna, or a chained woman who cannot remarry. . Before the husband got married, he was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy. Before doing so, he froze sperm so that in the event that he became infertile from the treatment, he would still be able to have children.
After his marriage, his wife underwent fertility treatment and several embryos were created, one of which was successfully implanted and led to the birth of a baby for the couple, although a frozen embryo remained. of the process. a divorce file in the Rabbinical Court of Petah Tikva in mid-2018. But the husband, knowing that he can no longer father children, demanded, in exchange for the granting of the divorce, that his wife undergo herself fertility treatment to have the last remaining embryo. implanted, or give him ownership of the embryo so that he can have another child through a surrogate. Rabbinical court judges Rabbis Avraham Shemen, Avraham Avidar and David Grozman ruled that the embryo did not belong to either parent. and the husband’s request that his wife become pregnant with the embryo was unreasonable. According to CWJ, however, during a hearing on the case in the rabbinical court, judges strongly encourage accepting the husband’s requests to avoid becoming a long-term agunah. The woman, who is in her early 40s, wants to have another child and feared that if trapped in marriage by her ex-husband, she would soon not be able to conceive again with a new partner. So she reluctantly accepted the husband’s request, and in November, the rabbinical court drafted the terms of the divorce agreement, including stipulations that she signs the necessary documents giving the husband ownership over the embryo. “The rabbinical court conducted lengthy negotiations between the parties in which the parties finally reached a divorce agreement,” the rabbinical judges wrote in their Nov. 5 decision. A date for the final divorce arrangement has been set for this week, but the husband has made further documentary requests from the wife and a new date is now set for next week. CWJ said the matter is raising ” legitimate legal, moral and ethical issues that must be approached and judged fairly, “along with considering the law and the difficult circumstances of the case. He said, however, that the rabbinical court had” chosen not to hold account of all the aforementioned issues – and even the law – prioritizing the price of the husband to get it [bill of divorce] first of all. The organization said, “Even in its own ruling, the rabbinical court recognizes that neither party has legal ownership of the embryo. Yet despite this, the rabbinical court continued to pressure the woman to sign an agreement contrary to her rights and against her own interests, in order to satisfy the man’s exorbitant demands for the get.


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