Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday ruled that current legal restrictions barring same-sex couples from becoming parents through surrogacy were unlawful and must be lifted within six months.
To heterosexual couples and single women in Israel, surrogacy is already allowed. But was not for the LGBTQ community. The community then praised the decision as a breakthrough.
The issue has highlighted a liberal/conservative divide, often along religious lines, in Israel. In this, same-sex marriages are not conducted by state-sanctioned authorities but are formally recognized if they are performed abroad.
The Supreme Court, petitioned by gay rights activists, ruled more than a year ago that a surrogacy ban for same-sex couples and single men violated their rights and called for the rules to be changed.
But having been informed by the government – which took office last month and includes a mix of liberal, conservative, and Arab Islamist parties – that making legislative changes right now would be unfeasible, the court determined the exclusions would become invalid within six months.
Surrogacy is a popular option for gay men who want to be biologically connected to their children. And this also implies lesbian couples who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy on their own. In LGBT surrogacy, pregnancy is most commonly achieved using an egg donor, gestational carrier, and in vitro fertilization (IVF). The surrogacy process is essentially the same as it would be for any other intended parent. However, there are some important decisions same-sex couples need to make before beginning the process.