Metro Weekly

Israel lifts ban on surrogacy for gay couples, single men, and trans individuals

Israel's law previously limited surrogacy to only straight married couples or single women with fertility problems.

israel, gay
Photo: Kelly Sikkema, via Unsplash.

After several years of attempts were rebuffed by members of the Likud party bending to pressure from social conservatives and Orthodox communities, Israel has finally lifted restrictions barring certain individuals from becoming parents through surrogacy.

Beginning January 11, Israeli same-sex couples, single men, and transgender individuals will all be eligible to become parents through surrogacy.

Under current law, surrogacy is only made available to couples consisting of a man and a woman who are both Israeli residents, or single female residents of the country in cases where the prospective mother had medical problems preventing her from conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term.

A bill to extend surrogacy to same-sex male partners was proposed in 2018, but Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, after claiming to support the bill, voted against it due to pressure from conservatives within his ruling party coalition.

This week, however, the Israeli government appeared to reverse its earlier position, celebrating the idea of same-sex couples raising children. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz praised the new policy as a step toward ending “years of injustice and discrimination,” reports the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“A week from today, we will also give equal access to surrogacy in Israel to single men, future fathers, as well as [male] homosexual couples — actually to any individual,” Horowitz said in a Tuesday press conference.

In July, the nation’s High Court of Justice struck down discriminatory definitions in the country’s current surrogacy laws that excluded access to some men. The court found that the government cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, and must given men the same opportunity it gives women to build families through non-traditional means.

Supreme Court President Esther Hayut wrote in that ruling that the change to the regulations will enable anyone in Israel who is “suffering fertility limitations of the kind and quality that can only be resolved through resort to a surrogacy process” to form families, creating “full equality between a woman suffering from a medical problem and a man.”

Under the requirements of the new surrogacy law, a parent must obtain permission from the Health Ministry’s surrogacy committee, which examines the applicant’s eligibility and later approves surrogacy agreements between a prospective parent or parents and the woman acting as the gestational surrogate.

See also:

Chasten Buttigieg calls out anti-gay troll who subsequently gets fired

Six Flags Mexico lifts ban on “affectionate behavior” after protesters hold same-sex “kissathon”

Oklahoma might allow parents to ban books with LGBTQ or “sexual” content from libraries

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