cute baby 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
There has been a sharp increase in the number of same-sex couples adopting
children in Israel, according to a report released on Sunday by the Welfare and
Social Services Ministry.
While there was a slight increase in the total
number of children adopted last year, from 372 in 2008 to 387 in 2009, adoptions
by families with parents of the same sex more than doubled, from 30 in 2008 to
72 families in 2009.
“I have been working hard to create a policy whereby
the criteria for adoption has no basis on the sexual orientation of the couple
applying, but is related to what is best for the child,” Welfare and Social
Services Minister Isaac Herzog said in a statement. “I am dedicated to this
issue and see a real value in promoting it.”
A spokeswoman for the
ministry told The Jerusalem Post
that over the past few years, the minister has
made several reforms to the adoption process in an effort to remove the stigmas
surrounding gay or lesbian couples, and implemented a policy of adoption
placements based on what best suited the child.
These policies, she said,
were further enhanced by a 2005 Supreme Court ruling that the criteria for
adoption should be based on what is best for the child and not on the sexual
orientation of the parents.
During 2009, the ministry received some 570
requests for adoption, with 377 coming from relatives of the children, including
requests by members of same sex couples to adopt their partner’s
children, according to figures released by the ministry on
In addition, out of the 387 adoptions that eventually took place
last year, 127 (32 percent) were international adoptions; 91 (24%) of the
children placed were born in Israel; 56 (14%) were children already related to
the adoptee; and 41 (11%) were placed with surrogate families.
remaining adoptions, 72 children, were by same sex couples.
has certainly been an overall increase in the number of adoptions taking place
in Israel over the past decade, information published by the ministry indicates
that it is a challenge finding families willing to adopt children over the age
of two, or infants with special needs, genetic disorders or addictions passed
onto them by their mothers.
The ministry also noted that adopting
families were reluctant to agree to “open adoptions,” whereby the child
in touch with his or her biological parent or parents.
“Providing a warm
home to a child in need requires special skills from the adopting
Nachum Itzkovitz, the ministry’s director-general.
The ministry wants to
encourage adoptions and is operating special programs aimed at providing
adopting parents with the training and tools needed to raise their