Israel Delays Decision on Allowing Same-sex Couples to Adopt

Under the present policy, same-sex couples can only adopt children for whom no adoptive heterosexual married couple can be found.

The government continues to delay its decision on allowing same-sex couples to adopt in Israel. Last September, the High Court of Justice ordered Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to formulate a position on whether to grant single-sex couples equal rights in adoption, the same as for married heterosexual couples, and to present this position to the court by February 2017.

The High Court’s order came in response to a petition filed by the Israeli Gay Fathers Association, with the Israel Religious Action Center, against the Social Affairs Ministry and the attorney general, asking the court to order an end to the present policy that discriminates against single-sex families in adoption.

A hearing was held on the petition on Friday morning, but despite the explicit order from the High Court, the government still has not yet come up with an agreed upon position on the issue. The lawyer representing the government asked for an extension of time for providing the two ministers’ response.

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