Attorney General Menachem Mazuz instructed the Health Ministry not to prohibit or restrict egg donation from one woman to her partner unless the circumstances contradict public regulations, such as cases where there is concern that the donation is a made out of exploitation or for egg trafficking.
Mazuz called the meeting following a number of requests received by the Health Ministry to approve the donation of eggs from a woman to her partner. The attorney general ruled such a donation does not contradict public regulations and should be approved.
Mazuz stressed that his position should not be viewed as any kind of recognition of a new family status, and that such matters should be decided on by legislation.
Attorney Na'ama Tzoref (Halevi), who represents five same-sex couples who filed requests at the Health Ministry in the matter, welcomed Mazuz's instructions: "This is an important decision that serves as an opening for many couples to realize their right to parenthood, and an important and brave step on the part of the attorney general and the Health Ministry's legal advisor."
Since 2006, only two requests of this nature were approved out of five that were filed. Tzoref added that she "regrets that it took over two years of struggle to get to this exciting moment - two years in which one of the couples was forces to travel abroad to undergo fertility treatments, which, according to the attorney general's instructions, could have been done in the State of Israel.
"These instructions, along with the advanced egg donation law, place the State of Israel in a reputable position of enlightenment and adapting the law to trends of life that emerged after it was legislated."
The current Israeli public health regulation on egg donation only allows anonymous donation from one woman to another under the condition that the woman from which the egg is being extracted undergoes fertility treatments after a doctor approves the procedure.
In such a case, the woman carrying the pregnancy is considered the child's biological mother, but the donor can still file a request to adopt the child.
A more advanced law to clarify the matter and replace the current regulations will allow for egg donation from one woman to another even if the donor is not undergoing fertility treatments, and in exchange for financial compensation. This law passed first reading in the previous Knesset but is currently being held up.
Meital Yasur-Beit Or contributed to this report