Israeli government will update same-sex adoption laws
The Israeli government has announced changes to the country’s adoption laws.
A case at the Supreme Court means discrimination against same-sex couples wishing to adopt will now be banned.
It comes following a petition regarding same-sex adoption that was filed by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers.
The new legislation will be introduced by June 2018.
This change comes less than a month after the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs reversed its opposition to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country.
The court had initially been told by the government that the “reality of Israeli society” meant that same-sex parents put an “additional burden” on their adopted children.
The agreement to introduce new legislation led to the court dismissing the lawsuit.
But the court reminded the two sides that if the legislation was not forthcoming, then the petitioners could return to court.
Riki Shapira Rosenberg, lead attorney for the Israel Religious Action Centre, said: “The court recognised the merits of the petition presented to them and decided to encourage a fundamental change in Israel’s adoption policy.
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“From now on same-sex families, who deserve the right to adopt like any other family, will have that right.”
“We will continue to closely monitor the legislative processes following the petition to ensure that the government follows through on its commitment and soon.”
Despite same-sex adoption being legal in Israel since 2008, it has been almost impossible in practice.
This is largely due to opposite-sex couples being given priority, meaning only three same-sex couples have successfully adopted children in Israel.
These three stem from a group of 550 applicants, meanwhile more than 1000 opposite-sex couples have managed to adopt in the past 9 years.