An Israeli couple has appealed to the High Court of Justice after the Interior Ministry refused to register them as two fathers of their biological son because one of them is a transgender man.
The parents, Daniel Mariuma Merom and Yonatan Marton Merom, are requesting that the state register both of them as the fathers of 7-month-old Tomer.
Yonatan, who was born as a woman and underwent hormonal treatment and surgery to become a man — but nevertheless retained the ability to conceive and carry a baby, was registered as the mother.
Daniel, who is the biological father, was not registered at all by the ministry, which limits his legal rights as a parent.
“I have a son who has been in the world for seven months and I’m not registered as his father,” Daniel told Channel 2. “It’s absurd, it’s annoying and it hurts.”
It is not clear why the Interior Ministry does not recognize either Daniel or Yonatan as the father. Yonatan was previously recognized by the ministry as a man and the two have been recognized as a couple by the National Insurance Institute since 2014.
Yet, following their son’s birth, the Population and Immigration Bureau of the Interior Ministry refused to register either of them as Tomer’s parents, Yonatan told Channel 2.
Several months after the birth, Yonatan was summoned to a meeting at the bureau to determine the baby’s status. “It was humiliating and invasive,” Yonatan said.
After that meeting, his gender was reset as female without his consent and he was registered as the mother. He was told that he would need to resubmit documents if he wanted to again be recognized as a man.
The name of the father was left blank.
In their appeal to the High Court, the couple write that according to Israeli law, if you give birth to a child you must be recognized as a parent. In addition, the state is required to recognize a biological father. “This is the letter of the law,” they write, according to Haaretz.
The Interior Ministry said it would respond in full in court.