Demanding Adoption Rights for LGBTQ Parents

5 August 2021

Two Israeli LGBTQ couples petitioned the Supreme Court to allow same-sex couples to adopt children in Israel. The petition was submitted on their behalf by NIF Grantee the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) in cooperation with the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers. In the petition IRAC described current government policy that does not allow adoption as “blatant, outrageous, and homophobic,” and as a policy of “discrimination that defies all logic.”

Current legislation says that only a “husband and wife together” are entitled to adopt healthy children in Israel, thus excluding LGBTQ couples. Of the two petitioning couples, one previously adopted a child in the US before moving back to Israel, and the other couple would prefer not to go through the process of surrogacy.

Dr. Shahar Gluberman, who petitioned with his partner Shay Gertler, said, “We began talking about whether we should adopt a child in Israel or abroad. We adopted our daughter Talya in the US when we lived there, and now we also want to adopt a brother or sister for her in Israel.”

The petition follows the precedent-setting ruling in July, in which the Supreme ruled to allow same-sex couples to have children through surrogate mothers. Prior to the ruling, only heterosexual couples were permitted to enter surrogacy arrangements.

IRAC Director Rabbi Noa Sattath said, “The thought that the Ministry of Welfare ranks members of the LGBTQ community as unfit to be parents by choice, simply because they are gay is shocking. The situation in which abandoned children that need a warm home are prevented from reaching couples who want to start a family – is absurd. We call on the Ministry of Welfare to wake up and quickly amend the Adoption Law, because we are dealing with laws affecting real people.”

Ran Shalhavi, Vice President of NIF grantee The Aguda- The Israeli National LGBT Task Force said, “The fact that LGBTQ couples cannot adopt [children] is premeditated and crude discrimination that must be changed. After the Supreme Court changed the surrogacy situation, the time has come to move forward to parental equality for the LGBTQ community in adoption as well. We will continue to campaign in the courts and the Knesset for full equal rights in all areas.”