Women who seek to adopt get significantly fewer benefits than those who give birth after fertility treatments, a University of Haifa study found, and a Kadima MK has promised to propose legislation to help rectify the situation.
University of Haifa nursing students, in a course headed by Prof. Dafna Carmeli, collected data on adoption and fertility treatment in Israel and abroad. They found that while the health funds pay all fertility treatment costs to produce two children for a couple, couples who want to adopt either have to wait five to seven years for a baby here, or pursue a private adoption abroad, which will cost them NIS 100,000 to NIS 200,000 in expenses.
The nursing students also found that women who underwent fertility treatments got up to 80 days paid vacation, and their partners got 12 days off; the woman is protected from dismissal during that time. But women who want to adopt cannot get paid vacation to pursue it and have no protection against being fired.
They also conducted a survey and found that most Israelis have little information about the difficulties faced by would-be adoptive couples and think the process is cheaper and faster than it really is. Those surveyed showed much more empathy for infertile couples undergoing treatment than for those seeking to adopt, the students found.
Carmeli and her students prepared a position paper that argues would-be adoptive parents are "discriminated against" in Israel.
After a short time of distribution via the Internet, a petition to change the situation was signed by hundreds of signatories, and MK Otniel Schneller said he would propose a private member's bill on the subject.