Mazuz: Women should adopt
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Attorney general to lesbian couple: No such thing as 2 biological mothers

Lesbian woman who served as egg donor to partner demands recognition as child’s biological mother, Mazuz refuses, recommends in opinion that the couple settle for adoption

A lesbian couple, one member of which donated an egg for insemination while the other carried the child to term, recenty petitioned the Tel Aviv Family Court to receive joint recognition as the child’s biological parents.


An opinion written by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, obtained by Ynet Sunday, revealed, however, that he strenuously objects to the whole notion of “joint biological parenthood”. Mazuz recommended that only the birth mother be recognized as the child’s parent, while the egg donor settle for formal adoption.


Both women were married in a Conservative ceremony, and had undergone the joint parenting process with the Health Ministry’s approval. Their son was born 10 months ago, but the Interior Ministry refused to register them both as the child’s biological parents. The couple then proceeded to petition the court for such recognition.


A letter submitted by the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office at the attorney general’s behest, noted that “the Ministry of Health sanction granted to the couple cannot serve as a precedent. Since an anonymous sperm donor was involved in the child’s conception, the applicants must undertake a formal adoption process to be recognized as the child’s parents.”


‘For the child’s own good’

In their petition, the applicants claimed that the biological and legal right to parenthood is a fundamental human right. It is in the child’s best interest, they noted, to be legally recognized as the biological son of both his birth mother and her partner, both from an emotional standpoint, as well as financially.


Attorney Na’ma Tzoref, legal council for the couple, stated “respectfully my clients and I cannot concur with the attorney general’s opinion, which undermines the principles of equality, human dignity and the right to parenthood. Mazuz’s opinion is unsubstantiated and fails to address the applicants' claims.”


“The last word in this matter has most definitely not been uttered, “ said Tzoref. “I have full faith in the Israeli justice system which has done much to make the State of Israel into a more egalitarian and enlightened society. It is ultimately up to the court to examine this manner and render its verdict.”


Attorney Tzoref further noted “I am very optimistic about this case. Mazuz’s opinion, which urges adoption, is incongruent with basic facets governing the Israeli justice system.


"In adoption cases the state typically examines whether the applicant is fit to be an adoptive parent. However, since in this case the adoptive parent is also the child’s biological parent, can the state make such a determination? Is this not unnecessary meddling by the state in these individual’s lives?” she said. 


פרסום ראשון: 04.06.08, 15:24
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