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Photo: Motti Kimchi
Same-sex fathers
Photo: Motti Kimchi

Ministers vote in favor of surrogacy for gay couples

New Health Ministry law will allow gay couples to turn to surrogacy in Israel. However, not without restrictions: Only two children per couple under 54.

The Knesset Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs on Sunday voted in favor of Health Minister Yael German's bill Monday, allowing gay couples to use surrogacy services in Israel.

 

 

Seven ministers voted in favor of the bill and five opposed it.

 

According to the existing "surrogacy law", only heterosexual couples can have access to paid surrogacy. Two years ago the Mor-Yosef committee was asked to decide on the matter and ruled that gay couples should be allowed to use surrogacy under the condition that the surrogate mother is not paid.

 

According to the new bill, Health Minister German supplements what she considers a "revolution," allowing gay couples paid surrogacy – much like heterosexual couples.

 

This move – which is expected to bring great demand for surrogacy – is not free of limitations. Couples will be allowed to undergoing only two surrogacy procedures, the couples' mothers and grandmothers will not be allowed to be surrogates; however the possibility of having a family member as surrogate does expand to sisters and cousins.

 

In addition the bill limits the age of men turning to surrogacy to 54 and not without limitation of age as it has been until now. On the other hand, the allowed surrogacy age has gone up to 38, two years more than what the existing law permits.

 

Too old to be a father

Chairman of The Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, Udi Ledergor, was not pleased by the move and criticized the limitations.

 

"How can one tell a 54 year old man, he is too old to be a father? Just like every person is free to decide when they want to bring children to the world, the same principle should apply on surrogacy," says Ledergor.

 

Another criterion infuriating the gay community is the limitation on the number of children one is allowed to have.

 

"On the one hand, you want to protect the surrogate mothers, but on the other hand we are not China and one cannot decide for us how many children we want to have."

 

Ledergor also stated his dissatisfaction from the demand requiring the would-be fathers to undergo psychological tests and criminal record inquiry: "When my parents brought me to this world they didn't undergo any kind of tests or inquiries, all this criterions are puzzling."

 

Shmul Simchoni (28) who is waiting to have a child since he was 17, is excited about the vote today. I am in a relationship for 4 years and feel I have reached a dead end," he says "around me, all my friends are getting married and having children, and I am not allowed.

 

"I thought about surrogacy services abroad, but if it will happen in Israel it will be a dream come true for me."

 

Itay Blumenthal contributed to this report

 


פרסום ראשון: 03.03.14, 00:14
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