Israeli Court Claims: 3-Year Relationship of a Lesbian Couple – short term relationship

A lesbian couple that brought a child together asked for a parenting order from the Family Court in Tel Aviv. The state demanded that the couple should be sent to a review, and argued that a three-year relationship is a short one and that proof must be given for its existence. The couple asked for the parenting order without the review, but the court denied their request. Attorney Iris Sheinfeld, who represents the couple: “It’s a discriminatory and arrogant demand that refers to parenthood that is not genetic as inferior.”

 Illustration | Photo : sunlight19, ShutterStock

A lesbian couple that has been living together for the last 3 years and runs a joint household has decided to have a child together, with one of them carrying the pregnancy. After the child’s birth, the couple went to the Family Court in Tel Aviv to arrange the parenting order, so that the mother who did not carry the pregnancy would also be considered the mother of the child by law. The state demanded that they undergo a review, a process in which a person’s ability to serve as a parent is examined.

The couple argued in court that sending them for review is discriminatory and that it contradicts a former position of the state which doesn’t require a review as a condition for obtaining a parenting order in 95% of cases.

The state rejected the couple’s request and demanded that it wants proof of the couple’s relationship. In response, the couple claimed through attorney Iris Sheinfeld, “this is an outrageous and humiliating demand that constitutes discrimination. As would be unthinkable to ask a [straight] man who has already registered in the hospital as a newborn’s father about the nature of his relationship with the mother or its length, the state should stop making unnecessary difficulties for the couple and be satisfied with the statements as presented in their requests.”

Despite these claims, the court rejected the couple’s request: “This is a relationship that is, according to the claim, short term. I did not receive factual arguments that can push the legal move aside from its main road of having the review. I also found a reason for the Respondent’s claim that the Petitioners did not attach any document that teaches about a common life such as the Respondent Parenting agreement, joint living agreement, joint photos, and even electricity bills, municipal taxes, etc.”

Attorney Iris Shienfeld, an expert in family law, who represented the couple: “The requirement to examine the relationship between two women who decided to bring a child together is not only a discriminatory and arrogant demand that relates to parenthood that is not genetic as inferior, but is also a requirement that has no place- especially because today the courts recognize the parenthood of two mothers even at the stage of pregnancy. Moreover, reviews of parents of the same sex strongly recommend recognition of parenthood. The state cannot continue to insist on keep conducting them, which constitutes discrimination and humiliation, while wasting the families’s time and the resources of the entire system — only to determine the obvious.”

Following the decision, the mothers appealed to the District Court. To be continued….