Israeli Supreme Court deliberates LGBTQ adoption rights

Three judges rule on appeals against existing law that stipulates only a married man and woman can adopt; Attorney General says that there is no 'political feasibility' for a change in legislation, suggesting change by ruling

The Supreme Court convened on Wednesday, to deliberate over the rights of LGBTQ families, to adopt children, in response to two petitions filed by LGBTQ families and advocates and the Reform Movement.
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Current Israeli law states that only married heterosexuals should have the right to adopt children. the law was found to be discriminatory by the court in 2017, and the government then promised to amend it by 2019. But no such legislative amendment was passed and in Israel's current political make-up, the likelihood that the law would be changed remains very low.
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דיון בבית המשפט העליון בנושא אימוץ להט"ב
דיון בבית המשפט העליון בנושא אימוץ להט"ב
The Supreme Court
(Photo: GPO)
Attorney General Gali-Baharav Miara, told the court as much, quoting Justice Minister Yariv Levin on the matter. And the justices indicated that since that is the case, they would be required to use their discretion and rely on precedent in the court, to address the discrimination.
LGBTQ parents were able to adopt their children only when they applied as single parents and the children placed in those families were for the most part older or with special needs.
Social Services Minister Ya'akov Margi from the Ultra-Orthodox Shas party told the court in a filing, that the interest of a child would not be served by placing him or her, in a home with same-sex parents despite studies cited by professionals in his own ministry, providing evidence to the contrary.
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Protests against the adoption law
Protests against the adoption law
Protests against the adoption law
(Photo: Moti Kimchi)
"Discrimination against same-sex couples in adoption is not a minor matter," says Jonathan Valfer, chairman of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance.
"It is present, blocking our path to becoming parents and sending us to different corners of the world to create families. The Israeli government has asked the Supreme Court to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community because it cannot eliminate discrimination. If you needed a reminder of why the LGBTQ community needs a strong and independent judicial system - here it is. We are pleased with the positive approach of the judges and call on them to adopt the state's position and erase the terrible discrimination of these laws."
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