Gay Man's Efforts to Receive Recognition as Infant Twins' Father Advances a Step

Jerusalem Family Court Judge Philip Marcus yesterday ordered the state and a court-appointed guardian for the twins born to a surrogate mother in India to detail their positions within three days on Dan Goldberg's request for a paternity test to prove his claim to be the infants' father.

Twins Itai and Liron, waiting in India to come to Israel.
Courtesy of family

Goldberg, who is gay, has so far been denied permission to bring the twins, Itai and Liron, into the country. If the test results confirm that Goldberg is the twins' biological father, he will be able to obtain Israeli citizenship for the babies and bring them into the country.

But meanwhile, Goldberg has been waiting for two months to return to Israel with the infants, because Marcus refused to order a paternity test, even though such tests have been ordered in dozens of similar cases in recent years. The tests are conducted at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

As reported in Haaretz, Marcus ruled in March that he had no authority to order such a test. On appeal, the Jerusalem District Court ordered the case sent back to Marcus for reconsideration. It also ordered the appointment of a guardian for the babies to represent their interests.

Irit Rosenblum, the head of the New Family organization, which is providing legal assistance to Goldberg in his efforts to bring the children to Israel, said yesterday she was pleased to see that, following months of deliberations, the case is closer to resolution.

"It would show a lack of responsibility to continue this foot-dragging," Rosenblum said. "We expect and await Liron and Itai's speedy arrival home."

She also displayed birth certificates that the Indian authorities had issued for the pair, showing Goldberg as their biological father. Though the Israeli consulate in Mumbai certified the birth certificates, that was not enough to bring them to Israel without a paternity test.

A few dozen demonstrators protested the delay in permission to bring the babies to Israel outside the Prime Minister's Office yesterday. The protesters accused Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas ) of denying Goldberg the right to return to Israel with the twins while his case is being heard, and thereby exposing the twins to health hazards.

One of the demonstrators was Yonatan Gher, director of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, which serves the gay community. Gher, who also had a child through a surrogate mother in India, told Haaretz he felt the foot-dragging by Yishai and Marcus was designed to dissuade members of the gay community from realizing their right to be parents.

Gher also protested Marcus' remarks at a hearing in March, at which the judge said that "if it turns out that one of the [three gay petitioners] who sits here is a pedophile or a serial killer, these are things the state needs to check."