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If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew once born?

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Counterpart questions: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/36228 and judaism.stackexchange.com/q/29721 – msh210 Mar 12 '14 at 16:00
related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/15114/759 – Double AA Dec 14 '15 at 5:10
up vote 18 down vote accepted

Yes (Yevamos 78a, Bechoros 46a), the child is completely Jewish. However, slightly different Halachos may be applied in some cases. (For example, whether the child can marry a Kohen.)

There is also a dispute over whether the fetus is considered a part of its mother or not, and therefore, whether the child was born Jewish, or is considered to have converted with its mother.

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Would the latter possibility mean that the mother is not the child's halachic mother? – yydl Mar 11 '12 at 1:36
@yydl Very possibly. The idea that the fetus is considered to have converted with its mother is the Ramban's (Nachmanides). The article I brought does not really address the issue of whether they are halachically related, so I don't know. – HodofHod Mar 11 '12 at 3:54
What, then, of the idea of "horatah ve’ledatah bi-kedusha" (being conceived and born in sanctity as a Jew) as a precondition for the marriage of a converts' child to a kohen? – SAH Mar 11 '12 at 6:31
@SAH What of it? – HodofHod Mar 11 '12 at 6:41
@SAH That does seem to be the case. There are distinctions, even among Jews from-birth, on various things; Kohanim and Leviim being the most famous of those. It does seem that the child would be treated differently in the case of marrying a Kohen, much as a convert is. This does not change the fact that they are considered completely Jewish, the Gemara is quite clear on that. – HodofHod Mar 11 '12 at 7:05

I recently saw a case where Rabbi Dr. Barry Fruendel, the RCA's representitive to the Israeli rabbinute for coordinating procedures and standards for conversion, converted a pregnant woman, her husband and their first child, and held that the child yet to be born would be born Jewish. I was a bit surprised. I remember that his predecessor at Kesher Israel, in Washington, D.C., Rabbi Rod Glogower, shlita, would not convert a woman married to a Jewish man until they determined that she was not pregnant. The traditional procedure was to have the couple separate for 3 months. However, doctors convinced Rabbi Glogower that there was a 24-hour pregnancy test that was 100% reliable, and he permitted that test in lieu of the couple separating.

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As far as I know, the three month waiting period ("havchana") is after conversion, and it's purpose is not to ensure the women is not pregnant but rather to determine if the child was conceived before or after conversion (regardless the child would be Jewish, but there could be Halachic ramifications). – Michoel Feb 5 '13 at 0:11
@BruceJames that surprises me. The waiting is to see whether she's pregnant. If we know she is, then we know how to do deal with that halachically! Regardless, most poskim today (already going back to R' Hershel Schachter's father, R' Melech Schachter) will allow a pregnancy test rather than a 3-month wait before a new convert can get married. – Shalom Nov 19 '14 at 12:59

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