16 December 2013
ByAppeared in BioNews 735
German said in a press conference that she endorsed many of the recommendations made by a public commission two years ago and said that equality would be the guiding principle under the new proposals, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Under the current law, unmarried men and women are not permitted to use surrogacy services in Israel and must go abroad if they want to use a surrogate, which can be expensive and lengthy. The law in effect means that homosexual couples struggle to receive fertility treatment in Israel.
However, under the new proposals, single men and women, including those in homosexual relationships, will be able to use a surrogate in Israel providing that their own sperm or egg is used in conception.
An Israeli court this year prevented a woman from undergoing IVF in Israel using her partner's eggs, saying that implantation must be done overseas (reported in BioNews 719). However, if the committee's recommendations become law, then a woman could potentially receive IVF using her partner's eggs in Israel.
The bill will also expand the pool of eligible surrogates in Israel to respond to the expected increase in demand by allowing married women to serve as surrogates. It will also raise the maximum age from 36 to 38 years old. Currently, only women who are divorced or widowed and have two existing children are entitled to act as surrogates. Women will still be required to have given birth to their own children before acting as a surrogate, explains the Jerusalem Post.
The proposals will also offer safeguards for surrogates by providing financial and other support throughout the process. There will also be a limit of three IVF attempts. Heterosexual couples will be eligible for up to two children born through surrogacy, but single parents would be restricted to one, says the Jerusalem Post. This would not prevent both women in a same-sex relationship acting as 'surrogates' for each other, however.
The bill is due to be published in January.