After Court Battle, Israeli Transgender Man, Male Partner Are Both Registered as Child's Fathers

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Daniel Marom, left, and Yonatan Marton after receiving ID documents at the Interior Ministry in Ramat Gan listing them as fathers of Tomer, April 4, 2017.
Daniel Marom, left, and Yonatan Marton after receiving ID documents at the Interior Ministry in Ramat Gan listing them as fathers of Tomer, April 4, 2017.Credit: David Bachar

On orders of the High Court of Justice, the Interior Ministry's Population and Immigration Authority on Tuesday registered both a transgender man and his male partner as the fathers of their year-old son. Up until now, the ministry had refused to register the couple as the parents of the child.

One of the fathers, Yonatan Marton, was born female and underwent a sex-change operation, but remained with female genitalia and reproductive organs. Marton became pregnant from sperm from his partner, Daniel Mariuma Marom, and gave birth to their son, Tomer. Initially, the population authority refused to register the couple as the child's parents, but subsequently, without Yonatan Marton's consent, changed Marton's gender back to female and registered him as the child's mother. The agency had refused to register Daniel Marom at all in connection with the child.

The couple filed a petition five months ago with the High Court of Justice seeking an order requiring the population authority to register both of them as the fathers and ordering that a new birth certificate be issued reflecting that. They noted that Yonatan Marton had undergone hormone treatments and surgery and had changed his gender designation to male with the population registry eight years ago. Three years ago, the National Insurance Institute recognized Marom and Marton as a common-law couple.

For its part, however, after changing Marton's gender to female without his consent, the population authority took the position that any change back to male would  require new approval of a committee that handles sex change cases.

At a high court hearing last month, the court ordered the state to register both Marton and Marom as the fathers of Tomer, after neither had been formally registered as such. On Tuesday, the couple visited the population registry's offices in Ramat Gan and were issued new addendums to their identity cards, now designating Tomer as the son of both of them. The agency also changed the designation of Marton's gender back to male. On the child's birth certificate, however, the baby is still listed as Marton's mother and the high court has not yet ruled on that aspect of the case.

"The feeling is amazing," Marom told Haaretz. "I've been fighting for an entire year at this point to be the father of my child, and it’s great to receive recognition after the court actually required the state to recognize me as father and to restore the reality as it is to Yonatan and make him male after they had previously forced him to be female."

With regard to the designation on the birth certificate, Marom called the situation "absurd," saying that the state has acknowledged both Marton and Marom as the child's fathers but still lists Marton as the mother on the birth certificate. "We won't give up," Marom insisted.

Daniela Yaakobi, the couple's lawyer, commented: "The solution that was obtained constitutes a very important victory, and yet the battle for Yonatan, Daniel and Tomer and for the transgender community in Israel and anyone for whom equality is important is not over." Legal action before the high court would continue, she said, until Tomer's birth certificate is amended and so other's don't encounter the same problem.

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