Netanyahu Rejected Request to Consider Allowing Surrogates for Single Men, Same-sex Couples

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman refused a request from Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to consider including single men and same-sex couples in proposed legislation allowing single women to use surrogacy services.

Emile Salman

Litzman told the attorney general he believed the version of the government-sponsored bill that was approved by a Knesset committee this week, clearing the way for its approval by the legislature, should stand.

The bill would allow single women who cannot become pregnant and who meets certain conditions to use the services of a surrogate mother in Israel.

The Health Ministry confirmed Litzman’s position and said that Netanyahu supported it.

On Tuesday the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved proposed legislation on the issue. But despite the High Court ruling, the bill does not allow same-sex couples or single men to become parents through surrogacy in Israel. At present, the law allows only “a man and a woman who are a couple” to avail themselves of a surrogate in Israel.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to requests for comments.

Hagai Kalai, the lawyers represents the petitioners in the High Court case, said: “It is regrettable that the deputy health minister, who by law must respect the right to equality of single men and same-sex couples, choses for extraneous and unacceptable reasons not to amend the serious discrimination in the law. This choice not only contravenes the deputy minster’s obligation to the entire public in Israel, including same sex couples, it also goes against his obligation to respect the High Court.”

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