Israeli hospital rolling out program to accomodate gay couples in maternity wards

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Father and baby sleeping (Vera Kratochvil/publicdomainpictures.net/CC Public Domain)
Illustrative: Father and baby sleeping (Vera Kratochvil/publicdomainpictures.net/CC Public Domain)

Beilinson Hospital’s maternity ward says it is now accommodating gay couples and single men who become parents by surrogacy, following the Health Ministry directive last year expanding surrogacy access to same-sex couples, single men and transgender people.

The hospital in Petach Tikvah is providing the men with a private room. In the case of gay couples, one will be admitted as the parent-patient, and the other will accompany them as the second parent. The men will receive support and guidance from the nursing staff.

The surrogate will be admitted as usual to the maternity ward with other women giving birth. Following the birth, the men can stay at least 48 hours in the hospital practicing various bonding techniques and learning basic parenting skills like infant-first aid, feeding, diapering and bathing.

Dr. Rony Chen, director of Beilinson’s maternity ward and labor rooms, says he is happy to inaugurate such a program.

“We have waited many years for [gay] couples to have children by surrogacy in Israel, and as a member of the LGBTQ community, I fully understand the adjustments necessary,” he says. “Gay parents will receive the special treatment and support that we have devised as they grow their family.”

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