Israel: Gay surrogacy bill gains cabinet approval

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Israel’s surrogacy bill has gained the approval of the cabinet, overcoming a hurdle and becoming one step closer to law.

The bill, first announced in January, is intended to stop the need for gay Israeli couples to go abroad to adopt, by granting same-sex couples the right to have children via surrogates in Israel.

It was first submitted to the  Ministerial Committee for Legislation by Health Minister Yael German, however it had stalled in March when housing minister Uri Ariel appealed against it, claiming the bill creates “moral and ethical” questions.

Ariel is a member of the Jewish Home party, which is part of a broad coalition government with German’s Yesh Atid and two others.

However, Ariel’s appeal was today overturned and the bill gained cabinet approval, paving the way for it to pass through the Knesset.

It is expected to fare well, as it has broad support across parties, excluding Ariel’s Jewish Home party.

German told Times of Israel that the decision was “longed-for equality in Israeli society.”

She added “We promised and we came through [on that promise]. This is a day of good tidings.

“The bill strikes a balance between the desire and the right of everyone to be a parent, and between the preservation of surrogacy and its rights.”

Yesh Atid politician Ofer Shelah added: “This is an important step toward changing the face of Israeli society, and raising awareness.

“The surrogacy law is a significant process toward equality and openness, and from the moment it was presented by the health minister, we promised we would fight without compromising until it passes in the cabinet and Knesset.

“We kept this promise, despite a political struggle that wasn’t simple, and we will continue to keep it until it becomes part of Israeli law.”