If a Cohen couple gets an embryo donation and their first born is a boy, do they have to do pidyon or is the baby a Cohen?

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    Perhaps the baby is not a kohein but there is still no pidyon. Don't know why you left that possibility out.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


What do you mean by "Cohen couple"?

If dad is a Cohen but mom is not, then we'd have to argue that this child's halachic father is "dad." As "dad" is not the biological father, I don't see how that argument could hold. (As I understand it, biological fatherhood is a necessary but not sufficient condition for halachic fatherhood.)

If mom is a Cohen, we get to the question of halachic motherhood -- is it defined as egg mother or host mother? Today a lot of rabbis will throw up their hands and say "it's left in doubt!" However, many rabbis in Israel, as well as the rabbinic leadership of Baltimore, say it's defined by the egg. The previous generation of American poskim, including Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik, felt it's defined by the birth mother.

  • Is halachic motherhood really relevant as much as whose womb was opened?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 22:55

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