Minister opposes helping LGBTQ families adopt children

Social services minister tells court it was not in the best interest of a child to be adopted into a family of same-sex parents after claiming in the past that LGBTQ 'not created in the image of God'

Social Affairs Minister Ya'akov Margi from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party said he opposed allowing LGBTQ couples to adopt children, according to a court filing on Thursday. The filing by Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara on behalf of the government, was in response to an appeal of LGBTQ couples, to change what they regard as discrimination. The attorney general also said that any discriminatory behavior can be amended without the need to change existing law.
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"It is the position of the Justice Minister that under current circumstances, there is no political viability to advance legislation on this matter," the attorney general wrote. "We can also say that the Social Services Minister is opposed to any amendment to the law."
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ועדת מעמד האישה
ועדת מעמד האישה
Ya'akov Margi
(Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
The opinion of the Social Services Minister was attached to the filing in which he said he did not believe a child's best interest is served by being adopted into a same-sex couple's family. "A child who is put up for adoption is already burdened with difficulties brought on by his need to be adopted," Margi wrote. "Placing him in a same-sex family can only compound the existing complexities of his life," He said adding that a child should be placed in a home that would reflect his original family's structure.
In 2020 Margi said that there was a sector in Israeli society that he could not support, from a religious perspective and therefore cannot regard members of that community as humans who were created in the image of God. However, he added that does not mean that they should be deprived of their rights.
In contradiction to the minister's position, officials in his own ministry said the suitability of any family to adopt a child is not evaluated according to the sexual orientation of parents. Officials also noted that even under the current wording of the law, same-sex couples were able to adopt, but there was preferential treatment given to families with heterosexual parents.
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הפגנה מחאה תל אביב קהילה גאה להט"ב נגד החלטה של המדינה יסור אימוץ זוגות חד מיניים
הפגנה מחאה תל אביב קהילה גאה להט"ב נגד החלטה של המדינה יסור אימוץ זוגות חד מיניים
Israelis protest the government's refusal to advance adoptions by LGBTQ families
(Photo: Moti Kimchi)
They also noted that in most cases in question, the children were relatively older, came from complex backgrounds or had special needs and that in the social services database, there are more children who require adoptive parents than families willing to adopt.
Israel's Psychiatric Association said research conducted over past decades showed definitively that children raised in LGBTQ families were as healthy, happy and successful as those raised in heterosexual households. Those findings were presented to the government in the past.
"The Social Services Minister's position is dark and hurtful," Opposition leader Yair Lapid said. "Good parenting has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Family is family and love is love," he said.
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