Israeli lawmaker initiates bill to allow singles, gays to use surrogates

The Zionist Union MK stated that the bill would grant a NIS 200,000 allotment for those who choose to go through the process abroad.

March 5, 2017 17:52
1 minute read.
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A MDA medic holds a baby, born to a Napalese surrogate mother [Illustrative]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli presented a bill on Sunday that would allow single people and the gay community to have a baby via a surrogacy agreement in Israel instead of having to travel abroad to do so.

The Zionist Union MK said the bill would grant a NIS 200,000 allotment for those who choose to go through the process abroad, similar to the financial benefits provided to Israelis who have a baby through a surrogate in Israel.

Shmuli, who currently is assisting three men whose babies by surrogacy are stuck in Mexico because the laws had changed since the procedures were initiated, said, “They will be allowed to come home in the end. The big question is why one has to travel to the end of the world to become a parent.

They will not be less positive parents; this discrimination must stop.”

He said many would-be parents have taken a second mortgage or gone into debt for as much as $130,000 to have their own child by surrogacy. “The State of Israel apparently thinks these people are ‘not good enough’ to have their own families. It is surreal; it is backward; it is painful,” he said.

Several MKs, including former health minister Yael German (Yesh Atid), tried to pass through such a bill, but it got stuck in the legislative process. With her bill, it passed only on its first reading. The courts, Shmuli said, have also said that preventing singles and those in the gay and lesbian community from having a child through surrogacy in Israel is discrimination, but they did not get involved in correcting the issue.

The bill would also enable ministers to limit the fees that surrogacy agencies charge for facilitating the arrangements and prohibit them from taking payments under the table.

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