A gay man with twin sons born to a surrogate mother in India is to be allowed to return to his native Israel this week after being stranded in a Mumbai hotel for the past two months because of the Ministry of the Interior’s refusal to issue a paternity test.
Under Israeli law, native parents of all children born abroad are required to undergo a DNA test to prove that they are the biological parents. This is a prerequiste for the childrens’ naturalisation as Israeli citizens.
However, Dan Goldberg, 42, was initially prevented from taking the test by Judge Philip Marcus who said he lacked the jurisdiction to issue a court order for Mr Goldberg to take the test, despite the fact that dozens of family courts have issued similar decrees in the past. The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office also said they could see no reason why Mr Goldberg shouldn’t take a paternity test. Additionally, Judge Marcus has also delayed the decrees in two other instances of gay couples from Jerusalem expecting children via surrogate means. Judge Marcus defended his decision, saying that he was following the state protocol: “If it turns out that one of these [purported fathers] sitting here is a pedophile or serial killer, these are things that the state must examine.”
However, last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the issue with the Interior Ministry and the descision was reached to allow Mr Goldberg and his family to return to their country. The infants’ paternity test finally arrived at the Sheba Medical Centre outside Tel Aviv on Tueday and authorities took the decision to allow Mr Goldberg and his sons to return without even knowing the results.
Mr Goldberg, a 42-year-old Jerusalem restaurateur, said to Haaretz.com: “This is a state of contradictions. I’m an Israeli citizen. I served in two intifadas and still serve in the reserves. . . but when I want to realise my right to be a parent, the state kicks me to the curb.”