Family Matters: Mishpoche Enablers
Pozniansky, an Israeli couple in their fifties, enjoy being grandparents to their oldest son’s three children. They crave the chance to be grandparents to the offspring of their younger son, Baruch, as well. But that is more difficult since Baruch is dead. The story does not end there. Technology-and a small Tel Aviv organization-hope to enable the Poznianskys to realize their dream.
A top student who loved gourmet cooking and was named outstanding soldier in his combat unit, Baruch died of cancer at 25. After he was diagnosed, he insisted on having his sperm frozen in case the treatment impaired his ability to father a child. On October 31, 2008-when his prognosis was grim-he signed a notarized document asking that his sperm be used to produce a child after his death, which came just a week later.
Baruch’s parents wasted little time in finding a single woman who wished to be inseminated with his sperm and become a mother to their future grandchild. “I already feel like she is part of our family,” says Yulia Pozniansky, 54, a tour guide who lives in Carmiel.
But the hospital where her son’s sperm is stored would not release it. According to guidelines set by Israel’s attorney general in 2003, no one but a man’s wife is entitled to claim his frozen sperm after death.