- Amit Ben Yigal, an IDF soldier, was killed in 2020 in an arrest raid on a Palestinian village.
- His parents retrieved his sperm, and are now fighting for a new law to allow them to have grandchildren.
- Yigal’s father told the Jerusalem Post that 182 women want to be surrogates.
Parents of an Israeli soldier who died in combat are trying to use his retrieved semen to become grandparents.
Currently, Israeli law does not permit bereaved parents to use the sperm of their dead children, and the couple is lobbying to have this changed.
Israeli soldier Amit Ben Yi gal, aged 21, of the IDF was killed during a raid in the Palestinian West Bank village of Yabad in 2020. Shortly after his death, his father retrieved his sperm.
—Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) May 12, 2020
Ben Yigal, his father, told the Jerusalem Post his son “really wanted to be a father. He wrote about it. He spoke about it.”
He said that when his son was killed, he was “stopped from being a parent” but he does not want to be “stopped from being a grandparent,” he told the outlet.
Yigal said he has gathered the contact information of 182 women willing to be a surrogate mother, but that the state is stopping him and his wife from using his dead son’s sperm.
“The moment they allow us, we will be the first to do this,” he told the paper.
“He will have everything. This child will only gain. He will get a warm family who wants him, who will love him.”
Now, lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow bereaved parents to use the sperm of their dead children. It has already been voted down once, in 2021.
Surviving female partners of soldiers have been offered the chance for posthumous sperm retrieval for IVF since 2003.
Zvi Hauser, the Chairman of Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, who supports the bill, said this is one of the most complicated and sensitive issues that he has ever worked on.
Hauser told the Jerusalem Post that, should this bill pass, it would be “groundbreaking” and other countries may take a similar approach.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the bill is also being supported by Or Lamishpachot, a nonprofit organization for families of fallen soldiers, and they are supporting several families in the same position as the Yigals.
“Every family that loses a son, it’s like the sky falls on them, and it’s on us to pick up the pieces and build a new path, a different path,” Irit Oren Gunders, the head of Or Lamishpachot told the paper.