Page URL:

Israeli health minister moves to lift surrogacy restrictions for singles and gay couples

16 December 2013
Appeared in BioNews 735

The Israeli Health Minister, Yael German, has announced the introduction of a measure to allow unmarried and homosexual men and women access to surrogacy services in the country.

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.

Health minister calls for expanded surrogacy access
Times of Israel |  11 December 2013
Health minister endorses reform to allow surrogacy for singles, homosexuals
Jerusalem Post |  11 December 2013
Israel Entitles Surrogacy Services to LGBT Community
Shalom Life |  11 December 2013
23 July 2018 - by Jen Willows 
Members of Israel's LGBT community went on strike on Sunday to protest new surrogacy laws that exclude gay fathers...
7 August 2017 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
An Israeli Supreme Court justice has criticised the country's laws on surrogacy as 'apparently discriminatory', while postponing a long-awaited ruling on a surrogacy petition pending draft legislation...
9 June 2014 - by Patricia Cassidy 
A bill permitting same-sex couples and single men and women to use surrogacy in Israel has been approved by the Israeli Cabinet. The bill now needs to be passed by Israel's parliament, the Knesset, before it can become law...
3 February 2014 - by Rebecca Carr 
Israel has issued its first passport to a baby born to a Thai surrogate, after the intended parents protested against the Government's refusal to grant the child Israeli citizenship...
27 January 2014 - by Ari Haque 
Supporters of the parents of 65 babies born to surrogate mothers in Thailand have gathered outside the home of Israeli interior minister Gideon Sa'ar to protest the Israeli Government's refusal to accord citizenship to the children...
4 November 2013 - by Rebecca Carr 
A recent order from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has stipulated that foreign nationals seeking to enter India for the purposes of commissioning Indian surrogacy services must now apply for a medical visa to do so....
27 August 2013 - by Ayesha Ahmad 
A court in Israel has rejected a lesbian couple's request to undergo a surrogacy procedure in the country....
29 July 2013 - by Ari Haque 
Indian surrogate mothers are frequently underpaid and insufficiently cared for, a report from an Indian charity claims. The Centre for Social Research in New Delhi says there is little protection for surrogates in a growing industry without an adequate legal framework...
12 March 2012 - by Ruth Retassie 
A Tel Aviv family court judge has set a precedent by recognising a woman whose twins were born via a surrogate as the legal parent...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.