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Adoption Controversy: These Are the Voices Against Adoption for LGBTQ Couples

Despite the large support from the media, straight allies and adopted children all across Israel, there are still voices in Israel and around the world, calling the Israeli government to continue discriminate against same-sex couples in regards to adoption.

“I have two dads and I’m happy,” a girl holds a sign at the Tel Aviv rally to support same-sex adoption on Thursday, July 20, 2017. (photo: Galit Sabag)

“It’s hard to say that we are surprised by these comments,” The Aguda, Israel’s National LGBT Task Force, wrote on its Facebook page. “What is surprising, every time, is to see the regular choir of instigators fight with the last bit of its strength, against reality – in which the majority of the public supports and strengthens the LGBTQ community in its struggle for equality, including parenthood.

“When the Welfare Ministry labels LGBTQ families as irregular, it gives a tailwind to violence and hatred towards us, and therefore it damages its very role.”

Israeli Ministry Official

Avigdor Kaplan, director general of the Labor and Social Services Ministry, has criticized those slamming the policy against allowing same-sex couples to adopt, saying they “weren’t interested in studying the complexity involved in decisions about the adoption of minors.”

In a letter circulated recently to ministry employees, Kaplan wrote, “I doubt if anyone who attacked the ministry’s position read the detailed document that was submitted, or was interested in studying the complexity involved in decisions about the adoption of minors, and to go into the detailed considerations that are the basis for these decisions, before attacking the professional position.”

Udi Ledergor, chairman of the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, was critical of Kaplan’s letter. “I understand the desire of the ministry director-general to back a veteran employee of his ministry, but the bottom line is we’re talking about the continuous misleading of the public, contrary to all the rules of professional ethics. Is there something that the ‘professional entities in the ministry’ know that the Israel Psychiatric Association, the Israel Psychological Association, the Social Workers Association and other professional bodies whose professional authority is not in doubt, don’t know?”

Chen Arieli, chairman of the Aguda, joined the criticism. “Kaplan is misusing his role as an official in the civil service and proves yet again that the position of the ministry, despite the minister’s declaration, continues to be an arrogant and homophobic position,” Arieli said. Read the story

Religious-Zionist rabbis

Religious-Zionist rabbis declared their support for Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s ruling against the adoption of children by gay couples, saying that allowing it would go against human morality and the values of Judaism. The carefully worded missive from the rabbis did not mention homosexuals or adoption but spoke of family values and the need to preserve them. “Our holy Torah is a beacon and moral compass to the Jewish people and the whole world. Therefore, it is fitting that in Israel we be on guard to strengthen family values and preserve a public space that respects the values ​​of human morality and Judaism,” they wrote. Read the story

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

Among the 30 rabbis signed the letter, was Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who later spoke on Israeli radio, saying that he and other rabbis would “not allow the country to become LGBT-istan.” During that interview, the rabbi also suggested that being gay is a sickness, saying, “The word ‘ill’ is very delicate; it [homosexuality] is something that needs treatment and fixing.” Read the story