Surrogacy Blog

The first gay surrogacy birth in Israel

On December 14, 2023, after a long and emotional journey, it finally happened. A gay couple in Israel became parents to twins through surrogacy in Israel. This was an historic and emotional milestone, marking the end of a long struggle for equality in the right to parenthood.

The event received many excited reactions among the gay community and Israeli society in general, and many saw it as an important step forward for equal rights.

The legal struggle was headed by attorney Hagai Kalai, Itay and Yoav Pinkas- Arad, the “Proud Fathers” Association and Tammuz Family – the international surrogacy agency with over 16 years of experience.

Timeline

Surrogacy for Gays in Israel?

The issue of surrogacy in the gay community has been growing since 2008, with the establishment of Tammuz Family and the golden age of surrogacy procedures in the East. The number of same-sex fathers bringing babies into the world through surrogacy processes increased rapidly, taking many people by surprise. Israel was not prepared for this explosion in gay parents and did not provide legal solutions for the process to take place in Israel.

Until the recent amendment of the law, many same-sex couples had to go through surrogacy procedures or adoption procedures abroad.

Awareness and willingness

In 2013, the Ministry of Health tried to enact a change in Israeli law that would also allow single parents to undergo surrogacy procedures, including homosexual couples. In March 2014, the “Surrogacy Equality Law” was passed, stipulating that the surrogacy process does not depend on marital status.

In May 2021, the Ministry of Welfare, together with the LGBT Association and the National Insurance Institute, launched a special assistance program for the LGBT community that provides comprehensive information on family formation in the community, including legal and financial assistance.

Constitutional change – a significant change for justice

A little light began to emerge from the darkness, after many years during which male couples could not be registered as biological parents of children born to them through surrogacy. Many were forced to navigate a maze of bureaucracy, discrimination, and a long and complicated legal process.

The constitutional change regarding LGBT surrogacy in Israel began in February 2020 when a partial judgment was issued stating that the Surrogacy Law was unconstitutional due to the lack of equality. The State of Israel was given one year to enact an amendment to the legislation, to end discrimination and allow same-sex couples and single parents to start the process in Israel like everyone else.

The arguments in favor of the change were:

  1. Equality of rights: Male couples, single women, and transgender people are equally entitled to start a family.
  2. Prevention of discrimination: The situation discriminated against LGBT couples and prevented them from becoming parents.
  3. The right to parenthood: Everyone has the right to have children and enjoy the experience of parenthood.
  4. Mental health: The inability to have children can harm the mental health of LGBT couples and individuals.

The Israeli public was interested in the bill and many supported changing the law and believed it was an important step for equal rights. A request was submitted to the High Court to allow gay fathers in Israel to have children through surrogacy. After countless discussions, petitions, objections, and a lot of heartache, justice finally prevailed.

A historic moment!

In July 2021, the High Court ruled that gay couples and single men could also undergo surrogacy procedures.  The High Court ruled that the law will be amended within six months and as a result the discrimination will be abolished.

The correction was made. In January 2022, the Israeli law regulating surrogacy for same-sex couples was updated. And the first surrogacy procedures for the gay community began.

Words cannot describe the amazing feeling that justice has finally been done, and that our efforts and those of our partners have helped create a new reality in Israel.

We hope that this welcome change will also take place in other countries, where there is still no light in the darkness, for now.

On a personal note

At Tammuz family we personally accompany parents-to-be on exciting journeys. We have the privilege of seeing them every day walking proudly along the path we paved with love and hard work.

With a big smile and excitement, we started building the best package of services for surrogate mothers and parents in Israel, just like we’ve done all these years abroad.

We want to say thanks to the medical staff who adapted their services to each new process, to the members of the committee who made the adjustments, and to everyone who reminded us not to give up on our dream.

Tammuz’s guarantee plans

Tammuz’s guarantee plans

Tammuz family created Guarantee Plans.  With these plans, intended parents know in advance the costs of their process and can prepare accordingly without the need to worry about the possibility of costs increasing.

Read More »

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