In a ruling that serves to illustrate changing attitudes about what constitutes a family, Israel’s Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision recently stating that some of the country’s current restrictions on assisted reproductive techniques are unconstitutional. The ruling will give single men and same-sex couples the same access to surrogacy that single women and opposite-sex couples in the country enjoy today.
The court took up the case after an advocacy/gay rights group, Avot Ge’im (Proud Fathers), spent ten years petitioning the court on the issue. The Israeli parliament previously voted on expanding surrogacy rights in 2018. The measure was defeated at that point by a measure of 49-41, even though it was supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel’s current surrogacy law, on the books since 1996, also limits surrogacy arrangements to Israeli citizens who also share the same religion. In addition, surrogacy contracts require state approval before couples who want to work with a gestational carrier can do so. Same-sex couples who want to become parents through surrogacy today must rely on surrogacy arrangements in another country.
The Israeli government officially has a full year from the ruling to change the law, so individual men and same-sex couples who want to take advantage of their expanded rights will need to wait a bit longer. Of course, LGBTQ advocates are pushing for a speedy amendment to the surrogacy bill, in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we work to help individuals and couples who want to start or grow their families through assisted reproduction. To find out more about protecting your legal rights and your future child’s legal rights throughout the surrogacy process, contact us online or call us at (760) 438-0558 to schedule a consultation in Carlsbad, CA today.