The Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry has reversed its opposition to same-sex couples adopting children in Israel, less than a month after announcing the controversial decision, according to a report Tuesday.
The reversal was filed to the High Court of Justice in response to a petition filed to the court by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers and the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement.
It came at the request of Welfare Minister Haim Katz, Channel 2 reported.
“There is no place for setting threshold conditions” for adoption, Katz’s office said in the brief.
However, the statement stipulated that it is the role of the Knesset to make a final determination on the issue through legislation.
“In these circumstances and in a matter that has such significant social implications in today’s Israeli society, it appears that the proper place for further discussion of this issue is the legislature,” the opinion said, according to Channel 2.
In its July 16 response to the original High Court petition, the state had said that it was opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt because it would place an “additional burden” on the child.
“The professional opinion of the Child Welfare Services supports preserving the existing situation” that the adopting couple be a man and a woman, the government then wrote to the court.
This “takes into account the reality of Israeli society and the difficulty it may entail with regard to the child being adopted.”
The original opinion sparked a storm of protest in Israel, with thousands of Israelis taking to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest what they said was a discriminatory policy.