J’lem man struggles to bring twin sons home from India
By RON FRIEDMAN
A Jerusalem man, father of two-month-old twins born of a surrogate mother in India, has been stuck in Mumbai for two months, unable to bring the babies to Israel because of an unusual court ruling.In March, Family Court Judge Philip Marcus refused to approve a paternity test to verify that Dan Goldberg is the boys’s father, because Goldberg is gay.In an interview with Army Radio on Sunday, Goldberg, 42, pleaded to be allowed to bring the babies to Israel, saying he feared for their well-being in India.“I just want to come home,” an emotional Goldberg said. “I don’t understand. Everybody else’s petition is automatically approved. Only Dan Goldberg is stuck in India. I saw couples who had their babies a month after me go home with their children. I guess my mistake was that I was the first, and now probably the last, to file the petition in the Jerusalem court.”Goldberg is not the only one to suffer from Marcus’s decision. Similar petitions from two other homosexual men were also rejected by the England-born judge.In his ruling, Marcus warned against raising children in homosexual’s homes. “A child needs to grow up with two parents, not only biologically, but also developmentally,” he wrote. “If it turns out that one of the people sitting here [the three plaintiffs] is a pedophile or a serial killer, these are things the state needs to check.”The men appealed the decision to the Jerusalem District Court. The state joined the plaintiffs in their request to have the ruling overruled, saying that a paternity test would be in the children’s best interest.While the district court did not overturn the decision, it ordered that a trustee be appointed to make sure the tests were carried out. The decision helps Goldberg’s case, but delays his return. In the meantime he is relying on the help of the staff at his hotel in India to take care of his twin boys, Itai and Liron.“My first concern is the children’s health. They don’t have citizenship status here in India and don’t have medical insurance. I am afraid to take them out of the hotel room for fear that they will catch a disease that they aren’t inoculated against. Last week, I was struck with food poisoning and the chamber maids helped watch over the babies. I am also running out of money. How long will the hotel manager let me stay? If I can’t find a solution, by next week I’ll be in the street,” Goldberg said.Attorney Irit Rosenblum, the founder and director of New Family, whorepresented the men in court, said, “What stands before our eyes is thewell-being of the children and their parents. Their well-being demandsthat they arrive in Israel as soon as possible. It is important to notethat we are talking about infants that have been in India for more than50 days without adequate health care and without legal status. I hopeand believe that the Israeli court will do the right, just and moralthing and allow them to enter the country. I trust the court andbelieve that it will act in this case as it has in similar cases in thepast. Even if there are legal disputes, it is important that they takeplace while the children are on Israeli soil together with theirparents.”The Association for Civil Rights in Israel agreed.“Noone argues with the state’s right to conduct tests of children born tosurrogate mothers abroad before granting them citizenship. However, thetests should be conducted with lighting speed so as not to prevent thenewborn infants from receiving vital medical services and thepossibility of gaining their father’s citizenship status and comingwith him to Israel,” ACRI said in a statement.
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