Friday, March 22, 2013

[Israel] - Israel's health ministry to recognize gay couples as parents - GayStarNews - Dan Littauer

Gay Star News is reporting that Israel's health ministry to set to recognize gay couples as parents.  Wonderful news.

[Source: GayStarNews]

A committee of Israel's health ministry adopted court recommendation to recognize both members of gay couples as parents of children born with the aid of overseas surrogacy

Israel’s Health ministry's Implementation Committee adopted a recommendation to recognize surrogacy procedures undertaken overseas, including those of same-sex couples.

The committee a decreed that  a non-biological parent in a same-sex parent couple should be legally recognized as a parent, without undergoing the complex procedure of adoption, as is currently required.

The health ministry's decision today (20 March) was a result of several cases filed with Israel’s high court against the interior ministry that refused to register both parents involved in overseas surrogacy, even if they were registered as such abroad.

Rather, it forced the non-biological to undergo a lengthy process of adoption and have the child genetically tested (to prove the biological parenthood of the biological parent) only though a court order, whilst rejected any tests done abroad as invalid.

Straight married couples do not have to undergo such procedures.

Israel’s high court essentially told the executive branch, signaling out the committee in particular, to put a stop to such discrminatory procedures and pass legislation to equalize the law.

Israel’s new minister of health, Yael German, is seen as a friend of the LGBT community and it is thought she herself was involved in speeding up the process, days after assuming office.

The public committee accepted the recommendation, although it recommended
that only single men or women whose surrogacy was altruistic, and not financially motivated, can benefit from the new provision.

The committee passed its report on to state prosecutor Moshe Lador so it can be submitted, as was required back to the high court, so it can examine its findings.

The committee also accepted the recommendation allowing parents to genetically test their child upon their return to Israel, without a court order, as is currently demanded by law.

The committee will transfer its recommendations to the director-general's office this summer who will, at a later date, submit the legistlation for a vote in the Knessset.

However, even if this if these recommendations will be finally passed as law it will not retroactively apply to the current claimants.

Hanoch Erlich, a lawyer representing a gay couple whose parenthood was recognized by a US court but rejected by the Israel’s interior ministry told Ynet: ‘We will continue to demand that High Court change the procedures of the Interior Ministry, both for us and for the rest of the couples facing this kind of hardship’.

Commenting on the committee’s decision, Moshe Schuzmann, the attorney of Israel’s LGBT movement, the Aguda, said on Facebook: ‘The current legislation discriminates against same-sex couples who underwent surrogacy procedures abroad as it demands extensive disrespectful measures for the non-biological parent to be recognized and registered.

‘As surrogacy is not permitted in Israel coupes are forced into a lengthy and costly procedure abroad.

‘We are pleased that health minister Yael German has chosen to take this step towards the LGBT community and equalize the legal status of surrogacy, something that should have happened years ago.

‘However, this is a partial victory, discrimination still exists, as neither the ministry of health nor medical insurance companies finance same-sex couples surrogacy, as it does with straights’.

[Source: GayStarNews]

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