'For years I dreamed of becoming a father,' says 1st single LGBT dad

Thanks to the High Court of Justice, Yaniv Goltshian last week became the first single dad from the LGBT community to give birth to a child through surrogacy in Israel; The surrogate, Miri Yoachim, says 'I gained an experience and a family'

Adir Yanko |
Two years ago, Yaniv Goltshian, 39, from Holon, posted a message on Facebook. "For years I have dreamed of being a father," he wrote. "If you, a girl reading this post, are excited along with me and feel that you want and are ready to go through a joint journey and help me bring a life into the world through a surrogacy procedure - I am looking for you."
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On Wednesday, on exactly the same date as he wrote the post, which went viral, his son was born using a surrogate.
Goltshian is the first single father in Israel from the LGBT community, and the second overall who gave birth to a child as part of a surrogacy procedure that took place from start to finish in Israel, thanks to an Israeli surrogate named Miri Yoachim, 34, from the north of the country, a nurse by profession.
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Yaniv Goltshian cradles his newborn
(Yariv Katz)
Surrogacy in Israel for male and monogamous couples became possible thanks to the High Court's ruling on the matter and the removal of the state's objection, a move led by former Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz.
"The High Court and the previous government changed my life," says Goltshian. After the post was published, a mutual friend of the two created the connection between them. The first meeting was at a steakhouse, and in a short time they decided that they would go for it.
"I knew it was an expensive process and therefore I've been saving since I was 16," according to Goltshian.
Yoachim, a mother of two, decided that she did not want any more of her own children - but that she did want to get pregnant again in order to give children to others.
"My partner was initially concerned about the process, then he thought about it and realized that it is important for me to help those who cannot have children," she said.
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Yaniv Goltshian and his Israeli surrogate Miri Yoachim
By law, the payment to the surrogate is 165,000 shekels, but she emphasizes that this did not motivate her. "I don't feel taken advantage of, on the contrary. I feel that I gained an experience and a family from the process," she says.
Goltshian, who was one of the first to receive the approval of the Health Ministry's Embryo Carrying Agreement Committee, clarifies that the road was not easy and that, at the same time, he is facing bureaucratic difficulties.
"Right now, for example, I won't receive maternity pay, and I can't even register the birth at the health fund," he says.
Professor Eran Weiner, director of the women's and obstetrics department at the Wolfson Medical Center, said his staff was proud to play a part in the historic birth.
"We were happy to be partners in Yaniv's journey to parenthood with the help of the wonderful Miri," Weiner said.
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