A sex offender convicted of sex crimes against young children who were under his supervision took advantage of a legal loophole and became the father of a girl through an overseas surrogacy arrangement.
The story was brought to the attention of the National Council for the Child by a woman who learned of the man's past convictions. "She told us of the screening tests candidates for adoption must undergo in Israel, and inquired why those seeking to adopt children abroad are not subjected to the same rigorous procedures," NCC Executive Director Dr. Yitzhak Kadman told Yedioth Ahronoth.
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An inquiry launched by the NGO showed the man had a criminal conviction for sexually abusing children who were given to his auspices, some repeatedly. He served a year and a half jail term and was categorized as a pedophile by the authorities.
The NCC notified the welfare authorities, the educational institution where the daughter, four, is enrolled, as well as police. "We learned that none of the bodies was aware the man was a pedophile who is raising a surrogate daughter on his own," Kadman said.
They also learned there was no legal possibility to take the girl from the father, as the surrogacy procedures were intact. However, the father's relationship with his daughter is being carefully monitored by the welfare authorities, and he was made to attend special psychological guidance.
The surrogacy law in Israel is under the purview of the Health Ministry. Kadman wrote Health Minister Yael German asking her to amend the law to include screening procedures for overseas adoption and surrogacy in order prevent similar cases in the future.
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Yoram Yarkoni contributed to this report