LGBTQ group filed a petition with the High Court to legalize surrogate motherhood

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 An LGBTQ group has filed a petition with the High Court to legalize surrogacy

On Sunday, two non-governmental human rights organizations and several LGBT couples filed a petition with the High Court to force the state to comply with a July 2021 court decision that was supposed to help legalize surrogacy after more than a decade court battles.

Yoav and Itay Arad-Pinkas have said they will not allow the Ministry of Health to continue to drag out time on the issue more than a year after the ruling, which has already violated a six-month time limit set by the court for reforms for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who want to become surrogate parents.

According to the applicants, despite the clear ruling of the High Court that within six months all provisions in the law that exclude equal access for men to the surrogacy system in Israel must be repealed, the legal department of the Ministry of Health systematically prevents the introduction of changes.

The text of the petition reads: “Egregious discrimination continues and single men and same-sex couples are not eligible to participate on behalf of the state in the fertility treatment required for this process, and there is no equal compensation in terms of medical care or additional insurance. Given the continued violation of the state regulation

In a 2021 ruling, the court took a big step forward to change the law on the matter, stating that it “can no longer wait until the Knesset does it” as the wait has been going on since 2010. At that time, the court even fined the state NIS 30,000 to pay the plaintiffs' legal costs.

However, the government continues to ignore the deadline for making changes to the old scheme, despite the fact that the court decided the issue unequivocally.

In response to the state's statements in the past about the inability of the Knesset to pass the constitutional version of the law, the chairman High Court Esther Hayut stressed that “the lack of political feasibility cannot justify the continued serious violation of fundamental human rights.”

The law was supposed to be amended by removing the current definition of “intended parents” and to include interpretations of the term to include same-sex couples and single fathers.

NGOs say the health ministry has stalled any real progress.

The health ministry and Horowitz responded that they have already approved a small number of gay people for surrogacy in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. However, the ministry said it was still exploring the possibility of providing state funding to gay people for the process.

The NGO made it clear in their petition that, in their opinion, the High Court of Justice has issued an order to remove all obstacles to equality of surrogacy for gay men, including funding, which today only women and heterosexual couples can receive.

Human rights activists argue that without such funding, surrogacy becomes much more difficult, which violates the equal rights of men and women.

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