Fourteen years after arriving at his foster parents' home, the Ramat Gan Family Court ruled Tuesday morning that Yosi Even-Kama, now 30 years-old can be adopted by his foster parents, a homosexual couple.
As a result of Family Court Judge Alissa Miller's decision to recognize Professor Uzi Even and Dr. Amit Kama as Yosi's parents, they will now have the same rights as biological parents of any child. In order for the adoption to be official, Yosi's biological father had to agree to renounce his paternal rights to his son.
In 1995, Yosi was kicked out of his biological family's home after they discovered that he was homosexual. The Even-Kamas took the teenager into their house and got the authorities to recognize them as Yosi's foster family.
The Even-Kamas petitioned for recognition as Yosi's foster family, which they received in a ground-breaking decision shortly after they took the fifteen-year-old in, becoming the first homosexual couple to gain legal recognition as foster parents.
In 2004, Even and Kama were married in a ceremony in Toronto, Canada. A year later, they said that they planned to petition the Supreme Court to recognize their union.
But the family did not consider applying for full legal adoption until 2007, when Yosi was accepted to university studies and the university's appeals board decided that he was not entitled to receive the reduced tuition to which the son of a professor is entitled. It was at that point that the family turned to attorney Dori Spivak for legal counsel regarding the possibility of adoption.
Following the family's petition, the Welfare Ministry opened a probe to ascertain the nature of the family dynamics and specifically determine whether the three had a parent-child relationship. After reviewing the ministry's findings, Judge Miller ruled that "I was convinced that the necessary conditions as proscribed by the laws concerning adoption of children had been fulfilled."
"The significance of this decision is that tomorrow homosexual couples can turn into a family and adopt a child," wrote Kama Tuesday. "After speaking with Dori Spivak we decided to shoot into the mist and we said that we don't have anything to lose. The Welfare Ministry was shocked by our demand to recognize the adoption.
"The parent-child relationship has existed with us for 14 years. Its not that we adopted a child yesterday. We always were a loving, living family but were not recognized by the authorities. Personally, there is great excitement and great happiness. The authorities and the state know now officially that the life that we live is the life of a loving family. This is a great victory."
This is not the first case in which a homosexual couple was allowed to adopt, but in the previous precedent-setting case, one of the members of the couple was already the biological parent of the children in question. In that October 2005 ruling, which followed eight years of legal hurdles, the Supreme Court ruled that Tal and Avital Yarus-Hakak - a lesbian couple - could adopt each other's biological children.