Netanyahu Voices Support for Surrogacy Births for Gay Men

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Amir Ohana at a Likud caucus meeting.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Amir Ohana at a Likud caucus meeting.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he supports surrogate births for gay men. He spoke at a meeting of Likud's legislative caucus  that was closed to the media, addressing the issue after it was raised by party MK Amir Ohana.

“I support surrogacy for single fathers,” Netanyahu said. He said he favored amending the law during the current Knesset session if possible, but if not, he said it should be done later on, via reservations to an amendment bill that Ohana raised last week, to permit surrogacy procedures for same-sex couples. 

Netanyahu has expressed support for LGBT family rights several time in recent years but has not followed up most of these declarations with any action. Opposition and coalition lawmakers alike think the chances are small that Netanyhahu's latest declaration will lead to any amendment of the law. 

Netanyahu heads a conservative coalition which rejects any recognition of LGBT family units. Habayit Yehudi, the ultra-Orthodox parties and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu Party all reject support for any amendment on the issue.

Last week, the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved a series of amendments to the Surrogacy Law that would increase the pool of women who can serve as surrogate mothers. 

The bill would allow women without partners who have medical problems that do not allow them to carry a pregnancy to give birth through a surrogate mother.

Committee chairman MK Eli Alalouf (Kulanu) also wanted to raise the age of the surrogates to 39. In addition, a woman can serve as a surrogate if she’s given birth up to five times, rather than twice, as the law now permits. Women would also be able to serve as surrogates only twice.

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