5-year-old boy registered with two fathers

Adoption comes after Ramat Gan Court rules that both are to be considered child's legal father.

gay parade 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
gay parade 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
In an Israeli first, two men registered themselves as parents of their adopted son at the Interior Ministry in Tel Aviv Monday, following a ruling by the Ramat Gan Family Court one day earlier allowing them to both be considered the child's legal father. "We did not encounter any problems [at the Interior Ministry]," Giora Shavit, 50, told The Jerusalem Post, whose longtime partner Avi Shadiv adopted their five-year-old son from Georgia four years ago. "It had really only been a technical problem that had prevented us from registering until now." Shavit explained that Interior Ministry paperwork had only allowed for one of the men to be registered as the father and, initially, Shadiv became the boy's legal guardian. "It was more important that we work on establishing our family and setting up a system of guardianship for our son," continued Shavit, who runs a successful cosmetics firm nationwide. "Figuring out how to sign up another father was less important in the beginning." However, a year and a half ago the two men decided it was time to complete the cycle and for Shavit to be officially recognized as the boy's father. "I wanted to become a father to him in every sense of the word," said Shavit, adding that he does not consider him and his partner pioneers in the gay rights movement. "However, of course I know that this will effect other decisions regarding gay and lesbian couples in the future." The couple's lawyer, gay and lesbian rights advocate Ira Hadar, welcomed the legal victory, saying that it had been much smoother than other high profile lesbian and gay rights cases. Hadar is known for successfully challenging the Supreme Court in the case of lesbian couple Tal and Avital Yaros-Hakak, who wanted to adopt each other's biological children, two years ago. "I believe our case was simpler because [there wasn't the question of] when a child already has a biological mother how can he or she have another mother as well," commented Shadiv. "Our son has no registered biological parents so it was just an issue of adding another adopted father." Hadar continued: "Today, we are seeing more alternative families becoming accepted by society and it just proves that everyone has the right to raise children within the lifestyle they choose." "Hopefully this will pave the way for all gay and lesbian couples to sign onto the waiting lists to adopt children," she said. While the issue of gay and lesbian couples adopting has seen progress over the past year, with Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog even launching a program for same-sex parents to adopt via the ministry, the issue of marriages in this regard is still far from being resolved. "It is still a very difficult situation," said Hadar. "There needs to be a general change in the process and this does not just affect same-sex couples but also those who are not recognized by the orthodoxy. It is a battle for all of secular society."