The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Artificial Insemination

1 Question: What is the general ruling regards to artificial insemination?
Answer: There is no problem in it per se, however, since the process may involve masturbation, and implanting involves touching and seeing the private part, insemination would only be allowed when the parties involved may face difficulty in their life which is not normally bearable.
Also, regards to the matters of inheritance and Mahramiyat the parties involved need to refer to the specific Islamic Law rulings.
2 Question: Due to a number of miscarriages, the doctors have stated due to my condition, I can no longer get pregnant, are we, as husbands and wives, able to use our own fertilised egg and use a "surrogate mother", to carry the feotus in their womb?
Answer: If the sperm and egg belong to the husband and wife and the inseminated egg is then implanted in another woman's womb, there is no problem. It is permissible per se. However, since implanting involves touching and seeing the private part, insemination would be allowed only when the parties to the marriage may face difficulty in their life which is not normally bearable. If this is the case, looking and touching would be allowed to the necessary extent.
However, when it comes to who the child belongs to, the owner of the egg or the owner of the womb, that is a problematic issue. In any case, precaution has to be observed in inheritance. As for mahramiyah, the owner of sperm is the legal father and the owner of the egg is mahram (related) to the child because she is her father's wife and the owner of the womb is mahram to him because she is like his mother.
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