After months of bureaucratic wrangling, Israel on Monday issued the first passport for a baby born to Israeli parents through surrogacy in Thailand. The move enables the 2-month-old's parents, a same-sex couple, to bring him home.
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Twelve additional babies born through Thai surrogates are expected to receive Israeli passports in the coming week, Israeli news portal Walla reported on Monday.
Last week, the families of 65 babies born through surrogates in Thailand launched a protest to spur the government into action. The couples hold Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar responsible for the fact that they have been stranded in Thailand due to the lack of passports for their children.
Israel had until now refused to issue the infants passports, explaining that Thai law awards full parental rights to the biological mother, even if she elected to give them up.
The Foreign Ministry last week approved a draft agreement submitted by one of the Israeli couples involved, in which the Thai woman who carried and bore a child for them agreed to allow for the infant’s permanent removal from Thailand.
The ministry told the couple that Israel would issue a passport for their baby if Thailand’s foreign ministry gave its approval.
The arrangement is expected to allow dozens of couples, most of them same-sex, to bring back to Israel the children born to them through Thai surrogate mothers. Some of the babies have already been born.