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Same sex parents, one step closer to legal parenthood
Photo: Shutterstock

Health Ministry: Recognize same-sex couples as parents

Implementation Committee adopts recommendation to recognize both members of gay couples as parents of children born with aid of overseas surrogacy

The Health Ministry's Implementation Committee adopted Tuesday the recommendation to recognize surrogacy procedures undertaken overseas, including those of same-sex couples.


Thus, Ynet has learned, it has also adopted a provision recognizing the non-biological same-sex parent as a full-fledged parent, without demanding of them to formally adopt the child, as is currently required. Nonetheless, same-sex couples currently battling the courts for recognition will not enjoy the benefits, even if the Knesset decides to pass them into law.


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The Health Ministry's decision came on the backdrop of a number of High Court petitions filed by homosexual couples demanding that the Interior Ministry register both parents involved in surrogacy processes undertaken overseas as full-fledged parents - despite the fact that only one is the biological father - without forcing the non-biological father to adopt his partner's child.


The decision is based on recommendations made by a public committee set up by the ministry's director general with the intent of examining issues dealing with birth and fertility.


The public committee has spent the last two years examining the viability of allowing single and homosexual couples, specifically males, to have children with the help of surrogacy.


However, the committee's recommendations state that only single men or women whose surrogacy was altruistic, and not financially motivated, can benefit from the new provision.


Change comes slowly

The Health Ministry's Implementation Committee, which accepted the recommendations, passed the report on to State Prosecutor Moshe Lador so he could relay them to the High Court of Justice, which, in light of previously filed petitions, requested to review the committee's findings so as to understand their legal implications.


Among the recommendations accepted by the committee was the need to recognize surrogacy procedures conducted overseas as legal, thus allowing the non-biological parent to receive recognition much in the same way the genetic one does.


According to the recommendations, if one partner requests recognition at a later date, he will be forced to begin the adoption process.


The committee also accepted the recommendation allowing parents to genetically test their children upon their return to Israel, without receiving a court order, as is currently demanded by law.


Nonetheless, the road to its ratification into law is still long.


The recommendation will move from the Implementation Committee to the director-general's office only during the summer and only afterwards can the grueling processes of legislation begin.


Moreover, even if the recommendation will be passed into law, it will not include those couples currently embroiled in legal battles.


"These recommendations do not help with our case," said Hanoch Erlich, a lawyer representing a gay couple whose parenthood was recognized by a US court but was rejected by the Israeli Interior Ministry.


"We will continue to demand that High Court change the procedures of the Interior Ministry, both for us and for the rest of the couples facing this kind of hardship."



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פרסום ראשון: 03.20.13, 00:23
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