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Gay dads told by government one must register as their child’s mother as ‘there is always one who is more dominant’

Patrick Kelleher November 19, 2019
Gay dads told by government one must register as their child's mother as 'there is always one who is more dominant'

Guy Sadaka and Hai Aviv

Gay dads who tried to enrol their twins in a government subsidised preschool in Israel were told that one of them would have to register as the child’s “mother” by a state official.

Guy Sadaka and Hai Aviv, who have been together for 12 years, were shocked by the bizarre conversation with an official from the Ministry of Labour and Social Services.

“I understand that you are both fathers and that you run a shared household, but there is always the one who is more dominant, who is more ‘the mother’,” the state official told the couple, NBC News reports.

Official suggested that gay couples are not ‘normal’ families.

“I am just asking for a written statement declaring which of you is the mother. From the point of view of the work – who works less than the father? Like in a normal family,” the official continued.

Sadaka said the official was sympathetic to their case, but that they were constrained by outdated guidelines around gay relationships.

She told the men that they should not “think about it too much”, and added: “We are not going to investigate this, we are not going to check, we are only examining your eligibility.”

I felt frustrated that I have to give answers that don’t make any sense.

“It kind of made me laugh,” Sadaka said. “But this ignorance in a government office when it’s just about 2020 just seems crazy to me.

Guy Sadaka and Hai Aviv
Guy Sadaka and Hai Aviv with their children

“I felt frustrated that I have to give answers that don’t make any sense,” he added.

Gay dads previously spent almost $250,000 on surrogacy fees to have children.

The Ministry has since apologised for the incident and said they would update procedures to ensure same-sex couples do not end up in similar situations in the future.

“We emphasise that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ practices explicitly treat all types of families and grant equal rights to all,” a representative said.

While same-sex couples now have access to adoption in Israel, surrogacy is only legally open to opposite-sex couples. Same-sex couples in Israel are allowed to travel abroad to have children via a surrogate, but this means couples face enormous costs to have children.

Gay dads Sakada and Aviv used a surrogate abroad to have their children and said they spent almost $250,000 during the process.

More: Israel, same sex families, surrogacy

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