State panel calls for legal surrogacy for same-sex couples
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State panel calls for legal surrogacy for same-sex couples

Health Ministry must sign off on report before Knesset can vote on it

Itai Pinkas and Yoav Arad, a gay couple who petitioned to the Supreme Court requesting to have a baby through a surrogate mother (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Itai Pinkas and Yoav Arad, a gay couple who petitioned to the Supreme Court requesting to have a baby through a surrogate mother (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Same-sex couples should be able to become the legal parents of surrogate children, according to a report by a Health Ministry committee published Sunday. The report, by the public committee for regulation of issues of fertility and childbirth in Israel, must be approved by the ministry before it can be forwarded to the Knesset for legislation.

Currently, same-sex couples cannot legally adopt a child birthed by a surrogate mother in Israel. Heterosexual couples can.

The report is the result of a two year legal battle by Itay Pinkas and Yoav Arad, a gay couple forced to travel to India to have a surrogate child. Pinkas, a gay rights advocate, approached the Health Ministry to allow them to use an Israeli surrogate but were denied.

The two petitioned the High Court of Justice, which told the Health Ministry to study the matter.

The surrogacy track to be made available to same sex couples is often referred to as altruistic surrogacy, where the receives no compensation beyond the reimbursement of medical and other reasonable expenses, as opposed to commercial surrogacy.

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