Thoughts on the Surrogacy Ruling

Asaf Weiss, a gay activist who works as an advisor to Israel’s Minister of Health, has published a status on his Facebook page, following carefully reading the new court ruling in the matter of using surrogacy services abroad, commenting on the historic ruling. A Wider Bridge has translated the post, for our English-speaking audience:

AsafWeiss180x200After carefully reading the new court ruling on the matter of using surrogacy services abroad, I’d like to comment on this historic ruling. It’s a very interesting ruling that requires multiple readings just to understand its depth. Here are some of the things that stayed with me :

1. This is one of the most significant rulings concerning the recognition given to same-sex couples in Israel. The fact that the perception that there is no difference between parenting and relationships of heterosexual couples to those of same sex couples is a leitmotif throughout the entire ruling and became a basic mutual understanding  and even an axiom. If so, it is difficult to see why the Supreme Court won’t make a decision on that matter that will protect same-sex couples.

2.  The ruling has clear statements about the current surrogacy arrangement in Israel being unconstitutional . This is a major advance since the unfortunate ruling about ‘the new family’ 12 years ago .

3. The ruling seems to be relevant only for surrogacy abroad where institutional recognition of the couple can be achieved. To my knowledge, only some U.S. states have it.

4. In my eyes it’s sad that the Supreme Court is required again to perform legal acrobatics that create a patchwork quilt of the legal reality of personal status and family law. When it comes to the petitioners (who take a legal status or another upon themselves: domestic Partners , married abroad and  recognized – married abroad is not recognized but  registered here -, married abroad with the possibility of divorce , marriage abroad without the possibility of divorce , etc.) it is easier. But when it comes to children who did not select their status, it is more difficult ( child with parent listed but without a court order , a child with a parent registered with the order , a child with long-standing married parents , etc.) 5. Again, a patchwork method on a subject that is not worthy of the specific legislation. To me, over time these patches anesthetize the social struggle and create a reality that allows the legislature to avoid carrying out their public duty (again) while continuing to violate the human rights of the citizens and the status of the Supreme Court.

I hope Judge Gubran went down to the deep meaning of the issues, because his verdict is a conceptual revolution in the Israeli approach to surrogacy.