The Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved yesterday,on second and third readings, a bill that bans the dismissal of workers who are in the process of adoption, foster parenthood or surrogacy. The proposed law would expand the rights of people who have started adoption or surrogacy procedures, and also confer full benefits and rights to foster parents. Until now foster families have not been eligible for a variety of benefits.

The bill is sponsored by MKs Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi ) and Otniel Schneller (Kadima ). Yesterday, the two expressed satisfaction about the committee's action, and explained that the law's implementation will enhance the motivation of couples to volunteer for foster parenting programs.

Under the law, jobs and work rights of employees who begin the process of becoming parents through surrogacy, adoption or foster care would be protected; an employer who infringes such rights, or who dismisses such workers, could face six months in prison, or a fine of NIS 150,000. The law allows parents pursuing adoption to leave their jobs for periods of 45 days. Foster parents who accept a child up to three years of age will be entitled to full maternity leave and birth benefit allowances; in the case of children aged three to ten, a parent will be entitled to one month maternity leave, and partial allowances.