Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and her partner, comedian Lior Schleien, announced on Saturday night that they are the new parents of a son delivered by a surrogate mother in the United States.
“We are so happy to have him and to be his parents,” Michaeli wrote on Facebook. “This is a love story. Now it is a love story of three.”
Michaeli, 54, and Schleien, 43, traveled to the US to be there for the delivery of the child, who they named Uri.
“The first time Lior told me we should make a baby, I was sure that there would be a punchline,” Michaeli wrote. “After all, he is a satirist, and it is known that I did not intend to make babies. When he continued, I thought he was saying it, because that is an acceptable way in our culture to say I love you.”
Michaeli said she was sure Schleien would give up on the idea, because they had wonderful lives. But she said that over time, she realized how much he wanted a child.
She revealed that she endured fertility treatments without success.
“I decided to embark on this journey with him,” Michaeli wrote. “It has been a journey with many attempts.”
Michaeli revealed that the mother of the child is named Kelsey and said she wanted to help a couple who could not have children.
In the past, Michaeli said it was wrong to expect women to have children and that they can have full satisfying lives without having kids. She also said surrogacy was very problematic, because women sell their bodies.
“[Having a child] does not change anything about what I believe regarding the inequality that makes motherhood a burden for women,” she wrote. “It does not change my view that you can be a complete woman without being a mother.”
Before she made her announcement, Michaeli faced criticism for going abroad for what was thought to be a vacation during the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urged Israelis not to go abroad if they did not have a good reason.