Court (illustrative)
Court (illustrative)iStock

The Lod District Court on Sunday announced that it would delay by 24 hours the publication of the results of genetic testing performed for the purpose of determining whether a fetus is indeed the genetic offspring of a couple claiming to be its genetic parents.

The delay is in order to allow a pregnant woman who was implanted with the wrong embryo, and her husband, enough time to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Maariv quoted the court's explanation for the decision: "After we weighed the issues and in order to properly balance the interests of both sides, and in order not to negate the essence of the right to request to submit an appeal, we have found [correct] to delay the receipt of the rest results (if they arrive until then) until October 24, 2022 at 1:00p.m., and not beyond that."

Meanwhile, an attorney for the couple claiming to be the genetic parents told 103 FM Radio that if the test confirms the genetic connection, they will request to distance the infant from the birth mother immediately upon its birth.

"All genetic tests that I know of are 99.9%, there are no tests that give you 100%, ever," the attorney said. "The girl needs to grow up with her genetic and biological parents, and if my clients are the genetic parents, they will certainly ask to receive her and will do everything necessary."

Invoking the Surrogacy Law, he said, "The Surrogacy Law says that when a child is born after surrogacy, it is immediately given to the intended parents, and there is a period in which the Welfare Authority and the social workers are the ones who take responsibility. This is not a classic case of the Surrogacy Law. The genetic parents will request to be the ones who receive the child and have custody of her. These are difficult decisions. If the father is the genetic father, he has no competitors, he is the only one who will receive an immediate status as a father and as a parent. If the test proves that my clients are the biological parents, we will request to distance the fetus from the birth mother immediately following the birth."

Israel's Surrogacy Law requires that a surrogate meet certain criteria - which the pregnant woman does not meet - as well as receive a specified sum of compensation from the intended parents. It also requires a surrogate mother to agree to serve as a surrogate prior to the pregnancy, and to agree following the birth to give the child to its intended parents. Thus far, Israel has never had a case of a surrogate who agreed prior to the pregnancy to serve as a surrogate but regretted her decision after the birth and refused to sign the second agreement. However, should such an instance occur, it would be up to the court to decide which parents raise the child.

An attorney for the expecting couple told 103 FM, "As of today, we are waiting for the tests... The hospital does not know its right from its left. I expect that the test will come back negative."

He added, "Assuta claims that the mistake was the human error of one person. The hospital noted that they said that they have conducted internal investigations and decided that at the moment they will not continue fertility treatments."

"I think that there is not a high chance that it belongs to the other couple. To the couple I am representing it does not belong, that is clear. There could be a situation...that the biological parents will not be found. My client says that she carried the fetus for nine months and underwent a dangerous operation. And it is still not clear what operations the girl will need to undergo from the moment she is born."

"There has not been a case like this in Israel, the answer is not unambiguous," he emphasized. "Right now there are no other parents - if another request is submitted we will deal with it; our clients intend to raise her. They recommended my client give up on the fetus, they said it does not have a chance of surviving. She made the courageous decision to continue this pregnancy, and she does not intend to give up on this girl."