Same-Sex Couples in Israel Will Soon Have Access to Surrogacy

Access to children through surrogacy will extend to same-sex couples in Israel.

LGBTQ+ News Headline News Triston Brewer

This article was published on January 20th, 2022

Israeli queer couples that are seeking to start their own families in the country will have the option as surrogacy will be legalized for those interested. The Israeli health minister stated that same-sex couples will not be able to have children through a surrogate, news that follows a supreme court decision in 2021 that annulled portions of Israel’s surrogacy laws which prevented it. 

In 2020, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the surrogacy laws as were disproportionately harmful to equality for all and the right to parenthood. The laws had been expanded to allow single mothers access, but with same-sex couples left out of the loop, the measure was deemed unlawful.

The changes were not placed into effect directly, however, and the Prime Minister at the time, Benjamin Netanyahu, proposed to draft a new law within a year. He was unable to deliver on the deadline because of delays within the Knesset, Israel’s legislature. 

Full Rights Hang in the Balance

Before the latest ruling came into play, Israeli same-sex couples that had the desire to be parents did not have the option of surrogacy, which meant that their limited options resulted in higher costs that included finding a surrogate abroad.

As the most progressive country in the Middle East, Israel already has gays openly serving in the military and parliament, and many of the most popular entertainers and artists are also openly gay. Despite the prominence of queer people everywhere in Israeli society, the obstacles of civil marriage and same-sex marriage continue. 

In July 2021, the court stated, “since for more than a year the state has done nothing to advance an appropriate amendment to the law, the court ruled that it cannot abide the continued serious damage to human rights caused by the existing surrogacy arrangement,” adding that the new law would be active in six months to allow for the formation of professional guidelines.

As the country’s openly gay health minister Nitzan Horowitz offered in a statement, this was a step in the right direction for gay rights in the nation, stating: “Full equality. That is the simple demand, and it is the goal of the LGBT struggle, the long struggle of my community.” He added that the new law would also open access to surrogacy to single men and transgender people.

At the Crossroads

As Israel sits at the crossroads towards fully realized rights for the queer community, HomoCulture will continue to provide coverage of LGBTQ+ news internationally. 

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