"I have been living with my girlfriend for four years. I received an emergency call-up for service in Lebanon and I'm afraid something will happen to me. I want to freeze sperm in case of a disaster," wrote a reservist to the organization recently.
Soldiers want to insure ability to have children (Illustration photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)
More significantly, New Family aims to pass a law, initiated by the organization's director Attorney Irit Rosenblum, that will allow combat soldiers to freeze their sperm. Since the beginning of the war, Rosenblum has received a large number of calls by interested soldiers.
R., a reservist in his 30s who was lightly wounded in one of the battles, writes to New Family: "I am sitting in the hospital recovering from my wound. I am fortunate I was only lightly wounded, but it could have been much worse. I would like to know how you can help me with the issue of freezing my sperm. Next time I may not have the same luck."
G., a combat soldier doing his compulsory service in the Givati brigade, wrote in an email to New Family: "I have been married for half a year. Soon, after training, I will go to the front line with my friends and I am interested in freezing my sperm in case something happens to me."
Creating an heir
Attorney Irit Rosenblum says that she has received varied responses. "There has been interest from couples that are interested in having a child together, but there have also been incidents in which soldiers who don't have partners want to freeze their sperm to be passed on later to whomever may be interested. They want to have an heir, and mainly that their parents can have a grandchild," says Rosenblum. According to her, "Not everyone is afraid of dying. There are also those who fear they will suffer an injury that will make them infertile and want to freeze their sperm while their still healthy."
New Family has renewed its efforts to pass a law, drafted by Rosenblum, named the Biological Will Law, that will establish a sperm bank for IDF soldiers, from the first day they are enlisted until they reach age 45, in which they can freeze their sperm. "From this point there are two tracks: one, in which a soldier is, heaven forbid, injured in battle, his partner can be inseminated with his sperm, and a second, in which the soldier's sperm will be transferred by request of his parents to a woman who never knew and never will know the soldier, but who knows his identity, to create an heir for him," explains Rosenblum.
The second track presents a problem. Israel currently has a sperm bank from which women in Israel can become parents, but the identity of the sperm donor remains anonymous. To overcome this problem, the new law would set that a woman who has a child with someone else cannot be inseminated with the sperm of a dead soldier, and that in the case of insemination, the woman's family situation must first be checked by a social worker.
"In a place where the state endangers people's lives, it does not have the right to prevent him from creating offspring," says Rosenblum.