Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that her new right-wing party Hayamin Hehadash, which she co-chairs with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, supports giving access to surrogacy services to LGBT parents as long as the surrogate mothers do so for altruistic reasons instead of a fee.
Shaked was heard making the comment in remarks to party activists which were broadcast by Kan Reshet Bet radio on Tuesday.
"If a couple has a female friend who wants to do them a favor, that will be possible," Shaked was heard saying.
Israeli law currently allows heterosexual couples living in Israel and single women who are Israeli residents to avail themselves of the services of a surrogate mother in the country in cases in which women seeking the surrogacy services are medically unable to have children.
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Israelis who under current law are entitled to access surrogacy services must first get the approval of the Health Ministry’s surrogacy panel, which reviews their eligibility and the agreement reached between the future parents and the surrogate mother.
Last December, in response to a petition to the High Court of Justice by a gay couple, Itay and Yoav Pinkas-Arad, the state told the court that it had decided not to allow male homosexual couples to have children in Israel through a surrogacy process. One of the reasons given at the time was that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also health minister, did not believe that it was politically feasible to get such legislation passed.
A Health Ministry panel that was convened in 2010 to develop policy on fertility issues delivered its recommendations two years later and proposed that homosexual men and single women be allowed to avail themselves of surrogate mothers; that married women be allowed to serve as surrogates; and that a married man and his female romantic partner could seek fertility treatments without informing the man's wife.