Court Rules in Favor of Lesbian Couple in Parenting Case

In a reasoned ruling, Tel Aviv regional court rebuked the state for creating difficulty with requirements that endanger a child and harms his well-being. This was in a court case of a lesbian couple who requested an order for parental relationship between the non-biological mother and the child.

A. and S. maintained a four-year relationship. They moved in together, added each other’s last names on their ID cards, and signed a legal document that declared their life together, and that was approved in the Israeli court.

After the two decided to have a child together, A. became pregnant through a sperm donor and gave birth to the couple’s first son in February 2016. The two were treated during the pregnancy and birth like two parents in all respects. Now that maternity leave is about to end and A., the biological mother, is about to return to work, the couple decided that S. would be the mom who stays with the child.

The two appealed to the court through Attorney Daniela Yaacoby, asking for a legal parenting order, stating that S. is another parent of the minor. It was proved that they met all the criteria set forth by the Attorney General for an order for parenting, and they asked for the order to be issued without the complicated report process that could take months.

However, the state insisted on making a report in order to “examine the strength of the relationship,” due to a claim that their relationship was of too short duration. The advocate on behalf of the Attorney General demanded the preparation of the report (which takes about a year and a half) as a condition for granting the state’s response.

Attorney Yaacoby filed another request to the court, asking it to reject the demand of the state, and to give the order without the report, explaining once again that the two meet the criteria like any other couple.
The court accepted the request of the couple while rejecting the demand of the state, and explained that the state’s requirement could cause damage.

“..The Court will not agree to a possible situation in which S., who functions as the parent of the child to all intents and purposes, is prevented from receiving medical treatment for him or to do other things for him. Such a situation, beyond the obstacles and inconveniences, also could have a negative psychological and social effect on the couple, the minor and the whole environment.”

The judge further explained in her decision that the court treats cases of same-sex couples asking for parenting orders without having to have the report because the exact purpose of this whole parenting order is to simplify and shorten the process as much as possible, contrary to an adoption order that requires a report.

“The strength of a relationship never was a condition to a parenting order situation”, explained Yaacoby to WDG. “Moreover, examining the relationship is contrary to the purpose behind the order, because it is important to anchor the parental relationship between the child and the non-biological mother specifically in cases of separation or- God forbbid -death. This is a detailed, reasoned and extremely important verdict. The court rejected the state’s position and justified the necessity and importance of anchoring the parental relationship between the non-biological parent and the child as soon as possible.”