A homosexual father has been denied a paternity test for his twin offspring, who were recently delivered from a surrogate mother in Mumbai, India. Family Court Judge Philip Marcus has also recently rejected a similar plea by another homosexual couple.
Many male homosexual couples in Israel choose to use surrogate mothers abroad in order to conceive, mainly because Israel's law only allows for this option if the couple requesting it is heterosexual.
Of these, many choose India because of its lenient laws. They then undergo a paternity test at the Israeli Consulate in order to make sure the child is theirs, and is not being smuggled illegally into Israel.
The new father, Dan Goldberg, intended to undergo this procedure but was halted by Judge Marcus, who said the court was not authorized to pass judgment on children who are not in Israel and "whose affinity to Israel has not been proven." In this case, of course, in order to prove their affinity the court must approve the test.
Despite humbling the court's authority to rule, Marcus decided to deliver his opinion on the matter and explained why approving the test was not in the children's best interest.
"If it turns out that one of the people sitting here (the three homosexuals) is a pedophile or a serial killer, these are things the state needs to check," he said.
In his verdict Judge Marcus warned against the raising of children in homosexual homes. "A child needs to grow up with two parents, not only biologically, but also developmentally," he wrote.
'Every day of delay significant'The hardline judge is known for his conservative verdicts, and has even criticized adoption in the past, comparing it to kidnapping. Recently his name made headlines when a man threw a shoe at Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinish. It turned out the man was furious with Marcus and saw Beinish as his "corrupt" minion.
In a rare move, both the state and the three men appealed to the Jerusalem District Court, which accepted their claim that the paternity tests would be in the children's best interest.
However the court did not overturn Marcus's decision, and settled for delivering a critique of it. A later hearing at the district court determined that a trustee would be appointed to make sure the tests were carried out.
One judge of three, Hana Ben-Ami, opposed this decision and said the court should override Marcus's verdict, ordering an immediate testing of the children. She explained that the appointment of a trustee would further delay the children's arrival in Israel.
"The minors recently born have been in India for a month and a half, void of citizenship and basic services. Under these circumstances, every day of delay is significant to their physical, mental, and developmental status," she wrote.