Sixty percent of Israelis support allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, according to a poll conducted at the request of the Labor and Welfare Ministry.
The poll also found 74 percent of respondents thought the main criterion for adoption should be the child's best interests, while only 22 percent said the main criterion should be the type of family seeking to adopt.
The polls was conducted by the Midgam Institute in the wake of last month's public criticism over the state's response to a High Court of Justice petition, claiming same-sex adoptions could hurt the children.
The state's response, which was based on positions formulated in the Justice and Welfare ministries, stated that "At this stage, Child Services supports maintaining the existing situation in which priority in adoption is given to a couple made up of a man and a woman, while taking into consideration the reality in Israeli society and the difficulties that could arise for the adopted child."
The poll, which included 832 respondents, paints a different picture to the one the state presented to the High Court, showing a high rate of support for the LGBT community in Israel in general and same-sex couples' right to adopt in particular.
Sixty percent said they supported same-sex couples' adoption of children, while 33 percent were against it.
In addition, 63 percent thought there is no connection between the kind of adoptive family and its ability to provide children with love and acceptance, good education, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence. Only 33 percent said a straight couple could give children more than same-sex couples.
The LGBT community was not surprised by the results of the poll. "It's a shame the Welfare Ministry had to conduct a study to learn what has already been well known for years," said Oded Frid, the head of the LGBT Policy Forum.
"The ridiculous excuses that a gay family is viewed in Israeli society as non-normative and that Israelis are conservative have shattered when 60 percent of the public expressed unequivocal support to allowing same-sex couples to adopt. This study follows a series of other polls and studies that show the majority of Israelis support full equality for the gay community," Frid added.
The state's position on same-sex adoption led to a wave of protests by the LGBT community and its supporters last month, at the height of which thousands of people took part in a demonstration outside the government building in Tel Aviv calling for equal adoption rights.
In light of the public outcry, Labor and Welfare Minister Haim Katz announced he would ask the High Court for an extension "to reexamine the issue of adoption by same-sex couples."