Ora Mor Yosef

Disabled woman wages legal battle for surrogate motherhood

Wheelchair-bound Ora Mor Yoseph, denied custody due to lack of 'genetic ties' to child, takes social services to court in what could be landmark case for rights of handicapped

A wheelchair-bound woman suffering from muscular dystrophy, who hired the services of a surrogate mother, was denied the right to raise the child as the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services said she had no genetic ties to the baby.


A Beersheba Family Court judge lifted the gag order on the extraordinary story of 46-year-old Ora Mor Yoseph who is taking the Walfare Ministry to court in what could be a landmark case for the rights of the disabled to raise surrogate children in Israel.


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While she has suffered from muscular atrophy from an early age, Mor Yoseph, who is homebound and is confined to a wheelchair or her bed, says she was adamant the illness does not prevent her from leading an active and independent lifestyle, though carrying a child was not compatible with her condition.


Thus she resorted to the services of a volunteer surrogate mother, an Israeli woman who conceived via artificial insemination performed in India using sperm donated by an Israeli man, and returned to Israel where she gave birth to a healthy girl.


The child was taken from the surrogate mother immediately upon birth by social services, and handed over to adoption services, without Mor Yoseph ever seeing her.


Ministry officials said the decision to take the child was dictated by the fact that Mor Yoseph has "no legal claim on her," as she has no genetic ties to the girl. They added the fact the insemination took place in India, and not in Israel, compromises the legality of the surrogacy procedure.


Mor Yoseph appealed to the High Court of Justice, which halted the adoption procedures until the end of the court case which should determine the woman's rights to raise the child.


Her attorneys said the case is a potential breakthrough for the rights of the disabled to have families and raise children. They added Mor Yoseph has been around her relatives' children all her life and helped to raise them; and her family will help to put in place an arrangement whereby the child would enjoy the best possible upbringing.  



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פרסום ראשון: 05.13.13, 14:32
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