High Court orders Israel to recognize gay adoption of child born through surrogacy

At the same time court rejects gay adoption in case where neither man proved biological connection to child.

Man with baby born to surrogate mother. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Man with baby born to surrogate mother.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The High Court of Justice on Tuesday night, by a split 5-2 vote, ordered the state to recognize the gay adoption of a child born through surrogacy, including registering both the biological father and his partner as fathers of the child.
Simultaneously, the High Court rejected 7-0 the request of another gay couple for recognition of their right to gay adoption.
Both gay couples based their claim on a birth certificate and declaration from the US that they are the child’s parents.
The difference between the two cases is that the court granted the request from the gay couple after it underwent genetic testing to prove the biological connection to at least one of the men, while the couple whose request was denied did not do genetic testing.
In May 2013, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein announced a game-changing progressive policy shift for how the state addresses homosexual parenthood of a child born through surrogate motherhood.
According to the old policy, the man from the homosexual couple who is the child’s biological father must pass a paternity test, in which a sample of his genetic tissue is checked to prove he is the biological father.
Subsequently, the second man in the couple – who has no biological relation to the child but is jointly involved in all of the decisions of parenting – must go through a lengthy process to legally adopt the child.
Couples have complained that the adoption process for the second man can easily take up to three years.
Under the new policy, although the biological father still needs to pass a paternity test, upon passing the test the family courts can immediately issue a special parenthood order.
The second man will then be able to become a full-fledged trustee of the child until the adoption process concludes.
Effectively, this will grant the two men full parental rights and powers at a much earlier point.
The court’s order implements the new policy and authority intended by Weinstein.
There is a gag order on the petitioners’ names to protect their identities and to protect the children involved, and all hearings were held behind closed doors.