Israeli same-sex couples, trans, single fathers approved for surrogacy

“We are putting an end to years of injustice and discrimination - the surrogacy equality revolution is underway.”

 Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash speak at a press conference, January 2022 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash speak at a press conference, January 2022
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

All citizens of Israel – including single fathers, same-sex couples and transgender individuals – will be able to access surrogacy starting from January 11, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced Tuesday as he and Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash presented an update to the regulations implementing the Surrogacy Law.

“This is a historic day for the struggle of the LGBT community in Israel and for Israeli society as a whole,” Horowitz said. “We are putting an end to years of injustice and discrimination. The surrogacy equality revolution is underway.”

Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a surrogate mother bears a child for an individual or a couple unable to have children for various reasons. The woman can either become pregnant through artificial insemination of a man’s sperm (traditional surrogacy), or an embryo produced through in-vitro fertilization is implanted in her uterus, and therefore there is no genetic connection between the fetus and the surrogate mother. In Israel, only the latter form of surrogacy is allowed. Usually, the surrogate mother agrees to give up all parental rights.

The new rules allowing single fathers and same-sex couples to access surrogacy come following a decision on the topic by the High Court of Justice, which deemed the previous version of the law unconstitutional two years ago.

In July, the court ruled that it would fix the law itself after the government failed to do so by a set deadline and asked the court to act for this purpose.

 Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz,  December 30, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, December 30, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

“The new regulation anchors the High Court ruling and states simply what was supposed to be completely self-evident: equality,” Horowitz said. “From now on, we will treat each parent and each family equally. Everyone has a right to parenthood, straights and LGBT, singles and couples.

“I am happy to update that transgender people will also be able to access the surrogacy process in Israel,” he further said.